DOST has 294 S&T scholars in Cordillera
by Lito Dar
La Trinidad, Benguet (13 February) -- The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Cordillera has 294 scholars for second semester of 2009, the most number in the country.
According to DOST-CAR Assistant Regional Director Dr Osmund Belmonte, the S&T Scholarship programs is running smoothly. Aside from the P6,000 tuition fee assistance, P2,500 book assistance and clothing allowance for Physical Education and Military Science subjects, per semester, DOST scholars also receive a monthly allowance that ranges between P4,000 and P5,000.
Belmonte also stressed that there are many students who are availing of the DOST S&T scholarships in the region, some even coming from other regions. "Last year, we have scholars that came from regions II and III and as far as Mindanao, siguro dahil sa gusto nilang mag-aral sa Baguio," he said.
Belmonte also lauded President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for giving more focus or investing more on education and human infrastructure. "Our scholarship programs are getting more and more funds from the national government, through the initiative of the president. Lumalaki ang budget for scholarship, giving us more scholars, malaking tulong ito sa mga hindi kayang mag-aral pero deserving at magagaling na mga estudyante."
The DOST has five different scholarship programs which include RA 7687 or the Science and Technology Scholarship Act of 1994, the DOST-SEI (Science Education Institute) Scholarship Program, Science and Mathematics Teaching Scholarship Program and the Junior Level Science Scholarship Program.
The DOST is waiting for the result of the Nov 2009 scholarship qualifying examination, which is expected to come out by March. According to Belmonte, those who will pass the said qualifying exam will be undergoing a one-month Summer Orientation Enrichment Program wherein they will get Math, Science and English lesson.
Meanwhile, Belmonte also cited that there are already 90 graduating elementary students, from different parts of the region, who passed the qualifying examination, which will form the second batch of students for the Philippine Science High School (PSHS) - Baguio Campus.
In line with this, Belmonte is hopeful that the President will finally approve the DOST proposed construction of a PSHS Campus at the Irisan Annex of the Baguio City National High School (BCNHS).
"We already have the initial fund of P50 Million for the construction of the PSHS campus in Irisan and we are now only awaiting the approval of the president so we can start the construction," Belmonte said.
The first batch of 66 PSHS students are temporarily housed at the San Vicente Annex of BCNHS.
The President, serious in her goal of continuously improving the country's educational system and to attain her goal of providing an "Education to all" and a zero drop-out rate in primary education has approved a P180 Billion education budget, which doubles the figure of P90 Billion education budget when she started office in 2001. (PIA) [top]