Angara urges high school seniors to seek S&T scholarships
MANILA, October 9, 2011-Senator Edgardo J. Angara is encouraging high school students to apply for scholarships with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to deepen the country’s pool of S&T professionals.
Angara, Chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, made the statement after the Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) has set the nationwide deadline for applications for the scholarships on October 21.
Data from the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) shows that between 2005 and 2009, graduates in the Natural Sciences, Mathematics, Engineering, Agricultural, Forestry, Fisheries, and IT-related courses combined only averaged 24 percent of total tertiary level graduates.
“Less and less of our youth are preparing themselves for careers in sciences and engineering. This factors immensely into why our competitiveness is stagnating. We need to convince more of our children to aim for scholarships—just like those from the DOST—and leverage these to get into high-value S&T careers. That way, we attain the critical mass of designers, thinkers, builders and innovators who will enable us to leapfrog our economic development,” said the veteran lawmaker, also the Chair of the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering (COMSTE).
Recently, some of the staff of COMSTE met with some school principals from Aurora to distribute DOST scholarship application forms and answer questions.
According to the DOST-SEI, the said scholarships are made available under two different programs—Program A, created by RA 7687 (The Science and Technology Scholarship Act of 1994) and Program B, otherwise known as the Merit Scholarships Program.
Program A is open to poor yet talented and deserving students whose yearly family income is P156,000 and below, while Program B is open to students with higher family annual income.
Applicants should be high school seniors who are in the upper five percent of their graduating class, part of their school’s special science section, or are enrolled and in good standing in any national science high school.
Once screened, students will have to take a qualifying exam before being accepted into the program. This year, the examination will be held on November 20, 2011.
“The future of our country lies in cultivating our skills and talents in S&T. Our S&T capacity has been deteriorating for too long and at too great a social cost. I hope this school year’s high school seniors will capitalize on these opportunities and help build a technology-driven future for the country,” said Angara. (Rikka Sotto)