Sen. Edgardo J. Angara recently filed a bill for the creation of new science, math and engineering scholarships, building on the current program offered by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) through its Science Education Institute (SEI).
Senate Bill No. 3279, “An Act Strengthening the Teaching of Science and Mathematics in Secondary Schools by Science, Mathematics and Engineering Graduates, Providing for Scholarships and Incentives Therefor and for Other Purposes” was filed last September 13.
Also known as the “S&T Scholarships with Teaching Incentives Act of 2012”, this measure proposes new scholarships, open to courses in the fields of math, science and engineering.
This measure also offers an incentive for graduates to return service by teaching these subjects in public or private schools.
“We aim to build on our talent pool of good math and science teachers in the secondary level in anticipation of the full roll-out of K to 12,” said Angara, chair of the Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture.
Earlier, the Department of Education (DepEd) reported that close to 100,000 more teachers are still needed throughout the country.
“With this bill, we seek to help fill in this gap as quickly as possible,” explained Angara.
As an added incentive to the future math and science teachers, the measure also upgrades their salaries to that of Special Science Teachers in the Philippine Science High School System, with the added option of pursuing Education units under another scholarship in the country’s normal schools.
S.B. 3279 also proposes the hiring of unemployed or retired science professionals as high school teachers throughout the Philippines.
According to Angara, who also chairs the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, these fields of disciplines are essential for national development and progress.
“Through this piece of legislation, we can ensure that the government prioritizes research and development, invention and innovation — with the end goal of increasing the competitiveness of our workforce. This is a much-needed step towards our nation’s growth,” stressed Angara.