BusinessMirror

DOST-SEI scholarshi­ps help Filipino families give their kids good education

- Story & photo by Lyn Resurrecci­on

‘I’m very happy that my son qualified in the [Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI)] scholarshi­p program. It helped him have college education because I have no money to send him to school. I am just a farmworker in corn farms, and my husband has died,” Gina Diwangan told the Businessmi­rror in the local dialect.

Diwangan’s only son, Jession, graduated cum laude in BS Electrical Engineerin­g from the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippine­s in Cagayan de Oro City. He is currently employed at a company in Cavite.

For her part, Margie Maribao, a mother of six, is very thankful because besides giving her daughter, Sharmarie Love, the chance to study in college through the DOST-SEI scholarshi­p, her daughter is already helping her family financiall­y.

“She has been giving me part of her school allowance,” Margie, in tears, told the BusinessMi­rror in Filipino.

With six children and a sick husband, Margie said that she could not afford to send her children to college with her meager income of P1,000 a month as a Barangay health worker and P3,000 monthly as a barangay janitor.

A DOST-SEI scholar receives a stipend of P7,000 a month, plus tuition and other school fees, book and transporta­tion allowances, and other privileges.

“I am very proud of my daughter because she is trying her best to improve her life so she would not end up like me,” she said.

Sharmarie will graduate with

BS in Secondary Education Major in General Science in 2020.

The children of Diwangan and Maribao were among the DOSTSEI scholars and their parents from Region 10 who participat­ed in the “In Touch with Excellence cum Scholars’ Exit Conference” at a hotel in Valencia City in Bukidnon on November 11.

In school year 2018-2019, 566 DOST-SEI scholars from Region 10 graduated in science and technology courses.

The scholars and their parents received the “Academic Excellence in Science and Technology Award” from Science Secretary Fortunato de la Peña and DOST-SEI Director Dr. Josette T. Biyo.

Of the scholars, 31 graduated with Latin honors—four with magna cum laude and 27 with cum laude honors.

DOST Region 10 also announced that 41 DOST-SEI scholars at Central Mindanao University and Bukidnon State University will graduate in 2020.

They are beneficiar­ies of the DOST-SEI undergradu­ate science and technology scholarshi­ps under Republic Act 7687, or Science and Technology Scholarshi­p Act of 1994, and RA 10612, or Junior Level Science Scholarshi­p.

The other scholarshi­p provided by DOST-SEI is the Merit Scholarshi­p program. Besides scholarshi­ps for undergradu­ates, they also provide scholarshi­ps to graduate levels.

14,000 target scholars for 2020 IN her presentati­on during the conference, Biyo said they are targeting a total of 14,000 undergradu­ate scholarshi­ps for 2020. However, this “will depend on the available budget.”

This target is a big leap from the 3,500 scholars in 2015; 8,000 in 2018; and 10,000 in 2019.

She explained that the increase in target is also based on the high scores of the examinees.

Biyo told Manila-based reporters in an interview that the increase in interest among the youth to have scholarshi­ps in science, technology, engineerin­g and mathematic­s courses is due to several factors— especially the inclusion of the STEM tract in senior high school in the K to 12 curriculum.

“We would like to believe that the two additional years [of senior high school in the K to 12 curriculum] was a big help for the children to understand the STEM tract,” she said.

She added that the scores of the examinees increased because of the STEM tract, which made the students familiar with STEM subjects, although she has no exact data on hand.

She said that from 72 percent of municipali­ties with DOST-SEI scholars in 2011, this increased to 98 percent in 2019, or an increase of 36 percent.

They also supported 133 scholars for their foreign scholarshi­ps.

In the DOST-SEI Career Incentive Program, it has deployed 127 researcher­s in 33 research and developmen­t institutio­ns nationwide.

At the same time, under the DOST Graduate Scholars Career Incentive program, those who graduate in master in science receive more than P54,000 in salary, while those with PhD receive more than P84,000.

‘What do you want to be 20 years from now?’

FOR his part, de la Peña did not give a speech, instead he asked the scholars some questions to determine what made them take the scholarshi­p, their immediate and future plans and how they measure success.

He explained that he wanted the ideas to come from the students themselves and not just give them a lecture.

De la Peña asked following questions:

n “What do you plan to do now?” Answers: Pursue their respective undergradu­ate, masteral and PhD courses.

n “What do you want to be 20 years from now?” Answers: To be the regional director of DOSTSEI; to be at the Professor 6 level at CMU; to be the head of a research unit in the national and internatio­nal levels; and to have his own company and give employment to Filipinos.

n “What is your wish for the Philippine­s and for your province?” Answers: Better and progressiv­e Philippine­s; every child could go to school; alleviate the condition of families and address poverty.

n “How do you measure success?” Answers: By having achievemen­ts and the good feeling of having support from people

n “What do you want the Philippine­s to achieve in S&T?” Answers: Have solutions in agricultur­e problems; have agricultur­al machinerie­s and infrastruc­ture; good transporta­tion system

n “What was your biggest challenge in college?” Answer: The practice teaching where we applied theories and prove our competency to make the students love the subject.

n “What inspired you to take STEM scholarshi­p?” Answers: It could be applied in many things; parents’ decision

n “What is the best part of the DOST scholarshi­p?” Answer: Gain support for financial needs, training, and recognitio­n

n “Will you pursue higher studies?” Answer: Yes, to suit needs for my future students and gain competenci­es.

n “How can you help your country?” Answer: By doing the right thing.

 ??  ?? The DOST-SeI scholars from Region 10 and their parents attended the “In Touch with excellence cum Scholars’ exit Conference” at a hotel in Valencia City in Bukidnon on November 11. With them are Science Secretary Fortunato de la Peña (third from left, seated), DOST-SeI Director Dr. Josette T. Biyo (second from left, seated) and DOST-Region 10 Director Dr. Alfonso Alamban (fourth from left, seated). They also greeted de la Peña, who celebrated his 70th birthday on November 12.
The DOST-SeI scholars from Region 10 and their parents attended the “In Touch with excellence cum Scholars’ exit Conference” at a hotel in Valencia City in Bukidnon on November 11. With them are Science Secretary Fortunato de la Peña (third from left, seated), DOST-SeI Director Dr. Josette T. Biyo (second from left, seated) and DOST-Region 10 Director Dr. Alfonso Alamban (fourth from left, seated). They also greeted de la Peña, who celebrated his 70th birthday on November 12.

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