New law gives boost to science, technology students

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THE Department of Education (DepEd) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) on Monday signed the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the “Fast-tracked Science and Technology Scholarship Act of 2013” (Republic Act No. 10612) in a bid to boost the pool of expertise in the science and technology.

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The new law aims to increase the number of science, technology, and engineering graduates by offering scholarships to deserving students in their third year of undergraduate study, based on their competitiveness and merit. It also offers additional incentives to attract the graduates of the scholarship program into teaching science, mathematics and technology courses in public or private high schools, especially in their home regions.

Education Secretary Armin Luistro underscored the importance of teachers immersed in the subjects they are teaching.

“Mahalaga ang programang ito dahil mabibigyan ng kaukulang pansin ang mga mag-aaral na maging guro upang maging bihasa sa kursong agham, teknolohiya, at matematika,” he said.

The signing was witnessed by Former AGHAM party-list representative Angelo Palmones, DOST Assistant Secretary Oswaldo Santos and DOST Science Education Institute (SEI) Director Josette Biyo.

“We need passionate individuals to push for careers in science and math, especially in developing the mindsets of the Filipino youth,” Palmones said.

Palmones added that the implementation of the RA 10612 is the “realization of Section 8 of the Kindergarten to Grade 12 (K-to-12) law,” which pushes for the hiring of graduates of science, math, statistics, engineering and other specialists as teachers.

DOST-SEI Director Biyo said 500 slots will be opened “for those who are already in 3rd year college who are willing to teach. These are students in science, technology, math, and engineering courses.”

The DOST-SEI, as the main implementing body of the act, shall formulate and prescribe timely and relevant guidelines to monitor and evaluate the academic performance of the scholars.

As the partner of DOST-SEI, DepEd will ensure job placement and hiring of qualified graduates under this program as secondary school teachers in science, mathematics and related technology courses, as well as the monitoring and evaluating of the teachers under this program.

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