Some 3,597 high school students who qualified as DOST-SEI undergraduate scholars for the incoming school year of 2013-2014 gathered recently for a ceremonial presentation at the Department of Science and Technology Compound in Bicutan, Taguig City. This year’s passers are 7.1% higher than the 3,359 number of qualifiers last year, according to DOST’s Science Education Institute.

DOST Sec. Mario G. Montejo said that this year’s huge number of qualifiers is a proof of the government’s growing commitment to science and technology.

“We are optimistic that these future big players will help us in creating S&T-based solutions for us to achieve a ‘smarter’ Philippines,” he said.

Sec. Montejo advised the students to work for their motherland in the future. “People who are from the S&T sector are the ones who can prove that local technology really works,” he said . “Sa pamamagitan ng S&T, magagawa natin putulin ang sarili mula sa foreign dependency,“ he added. (Through S&T, we can pull ourselves out of foreign dependency).

As the next generation of game changers, Montejo urged the scholars to use research development principles to produce more mass transit systems like the AGT in UP and other possible industries to create more value in the country.

“To look for a world class solution is to resolve our local problem,” he emphasized.

According to DOST-SEI, the number of municipalities with qualifiers also increased to 1,107 this year compared with 975 in 2012. From the total number of the 2013 passers, 3,089 belong to economically disadvantaged families who qualified under the RA 7687 Scholarship grants, while 508 students qualified for the DOST-SEI Merit Scholarship Program.

The qualifiers from the National Capital Region, about 10 percent of the total, were at the ceremony.

Meanwhile, SEI Director Filma G. Brawner believes that the country will be able to produce more S&T professionals through the implementation of various innovative strategies in developing human resources along with the different scholarship programs of the Institute.
“I believe that through the different scholarship programs of DOST-SEI, we are slowly inching towards meeting the ideal number of scientists and engineers per million population as well as in reaching our vision of a scientifically-equipped society,” Brawner said. “We are really pushing more graduates from a non progressive province.”

One of the highlights of the ceremony was when Dr. Salvador Caoili, a past scholar, took the podium to talk to the students about the essence of being an “S&T servant.” Dr. Caoili, a DOST-SEI scholar in 1989, is currently an associate professor of the College of Medicine University of the Philippines-Manila. He graduated summa cum laude from UP with a Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology.

Dr. Caoili stressed that scientists are not an elite group. “We need to reach out the people and tell them that S&T is not an alien thing,” he said.

The younger generation has the responsibility to link up science and yechnology in many aspects of life, according to Caoili. “Science is not distinct form culture, science is already stimulated from the time we were born.”

The DOST-SEI Undergraduate Scholarship Program is DOST’s response to its mandate of accelerating the pace of knowledge-driven development in accordance with the S&T human resource growth potential in the country.

Moreover, SEI is now announcing the 2014 S&T Undergraduate Scholarships. Application forms can be obtained at SEI or can be downloaded at its website, and Deadline for filing of application and requirements is on August 23, 2013. The nationwide scholarship examination will be on September 22, 2013.

A number of this year’s science and technology scholars gathered at the Department of Science and Technology for a ceremonial presentation to Secretary Mario G. Montejo (middle) recently at the Executive Lounge in the DOST Compound. Some 3,597 high school students qualified for the DOST-Science Education Institute Undergraduate Scholarship for the incoming schoolyear 2013-2014, an increase of 7.1 percent from last year’s qualifiers. Known as R.A. 7687, the Science and Technology Scholarship Act of 1994 aims to promote the development of the country’s science and technology human resources in line with economic development and to provide the capability required in the areas of research, development, innovation. At Sec. Montejo’s left side is DOST Usec. Carol M. Yorobe, SEI Dir. Filma Brawner, and UP Professor Salvador Caoili. At Sec. Montejo’s right is Asec. Oswaldo Santos. (S&T Media Service)


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