Cotabato City (13 May 2015) – A total of 68 students from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) have qualified this year in the undergraduate scholarship programs of the Department of Science and Technology – Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI), the highest number of qualifiers so far for the region.
Mon-em Abangad, DOST-ARMM scholarship co-coordinator, said the number of qualifiers almost doubled compared to last year with only 35 students.
He said of the 68 scholars, 65 are under RA 7687 also known as the Science and Technology Scholarship Act of 1994, while the three are under the DOST-SEI Merit Scholarship Program.
Abangad said the RA 7687 scholars are deserving students who belong to economically disadvantaged families and the merit scholars are students whose parents have an annual income that exceeds P156, 600.
The increase in the number of passers, he said, can be attributed to the enrichment program they introduced this year dubbed ‘Syensiya-bilidad’.
It involved a two-day comprehensive review that was composed of two parts – the Intellective Speed and Intellective Power Test. DOST-ARMM also administered an online review and pre-test in the five provinces of the region for free.
The ‘Syensiya-bilidad’ was aimed at developing the skills of the students in taking tests. It was designed to help them remember and master the skills and concepts needed to pass the DOST-SEI scholarship examination.
The ARMM, according to Abangad, is among the regions that have implemented the program.
The DOST-ARMM has also conducted an intensive information drive dubbed “Push 4 Science” to raise awareness on DOST-SEI scholarship programs.
“We focused our campaign on places that has no takers for the past three years (2012-2014). We believe it (‘Push 4 Science’) also affected the result,” said Abangad.
A total of 5,303 high school students all over the country clinched a slot in the scholarship program. This year’s number of qualifiers, which is up by 33 percent, surpassed the 3,982 mark in 2014.
Starting school year 2015-2016, DOST-SEI scholars will receive bigger stipends and allowances to support their studies. They will receive P6, 000 monthly stipend under the Physics/Applied Physics, Geology, Mining Engineering, Agriculture, and Fisheries courses, while the other DOST-SEI priority courses will receive P5,000 monthly stipend; book allowance of P10,000 per academic year; tuition fee subsidy of P10,000; and clothing allowance of P1,000.
The scholarship qualifiers can enroll in state universities and colleges and other higher education institutions recognized by the Commission on Higher Education as Centers of Excellence. They can take up priority science and technology courses such as Agriculture, Applied Physics, Engineering, and Mathematics, among others. (Bureau of Public Information)