14 September 2015
In support of the government’s objective to strengthen the quality of education in the country, a total of 1,030 third year college students aced the Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute’s (DOST-SEI) Junior Level Science Scholarship (JLSS) exam administered nationwide on 12 July 2015.
The JLSS is a scholarship program of the DOST-SEI under the Republic Act (RA) No. 10612 titled, “An Act Expanding the Coverage of the Science and Technology (S&T) Scholarship Program and Strengthening the Teaching of Science and Mathematics in Secondary Schools.” Otherwise known as the “Fast-Tracked S&T Scholarship Act of 2013”, this law builds on the current S&T scholarships offered by the DOST-SEI as provided for in RA 7687 or the “Science and Technology Scholarship Act of 1994.”
The implementation of R.A. 10612 supports the execution of Section 8 of the K to 12 law which urges the hiring of teachers from among the graduates of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses.
“I believe that this scholarship program will not only help produce quality teachers right away but will also ensure dynamic and effective science and mathematics teaching in many schools in the country especially now that the K-12 will be implemented,” Dr. Josette T. Biyo, SEI Director, said.
Qualifiers of this scholarship program will get to enjoy a 2-3 year S&T scholarships with privileges following the existing financial assistance of the RA 7687 scholars. They will be entitled to subsidy in tuition fee and other school fees, monthly living allowance, book allowance, among others, in the last 2 or 3 years of their undergraduate studies.
Upon graduation the scholars are required to serve as STEM teachers for a minimum of two years in any public or private high school in the country, preferably in their hometown. They will also be made to undergo teacher training by the Philippine Normal University (PNU). To ensure that graduates under the program would be able to serve, the Department of Education (DepEd) will assist in the job placement and hiring of qualified graduates with a starting salary equivalent to that of the Special Science Teacher 1 position at the Philippine Science High School. Other incentives include relocation allowance if they would be assigned to teach outside their home region or province; and they would be allowed to teach initially without LET (Licensure Examination for Teachers) eligibility provided that they take and pass the LET within five years of hiring.
Dr. Biyo believes that by fast-tracking graduates in STEM courses, the RA 10612 will strengthen the country’s science and technology education and hopes to inspire more scholar-graduates to pursue a career path in science teaching.
The new JLSS scholars under RA 10612 will get to enjoy the scholarship effective the First Semester of AY 2015-2016.