Wanted: boarding house for Lumad scholars


DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 23 May) — The city’s Scholarship on Tertiary Education Program (STEP) has asked the local finance board to consider renting a house for Lumad (Indigenous Peoples) scholars here.

STEP coordinator Marcelino Escalada said he was working with the finance committee to rent a house where the STEP scholars from far-flung areas in the city could all stay, to help with their expenses.

Escalada said at the moment, there are 23 IP scholars taking up midwifery at the Davao Medical School Foundation, and a student each taking up law and medicine at other higher education institutions here.

“If we do this, the scholars need only to spend for their food, with their housing expenses already taken care of by the city government,” Escalada said.

The STEP program allows for the funding of the educational expenses of qualified college students.

According to Escalada, there are around 350 incoming scholars for school year 2015 and 2016.

At least 200 scholars have been qualified to avail of the city’s STEP B program, which funds the tuition of up to P40,000 for deserving college students.

Around 70 scholars, meanwhile, qualified for STEP B, which provides for a P50,000 scholarship for beneficiaries.

Escalada said most of the scholars are performing within the minimum 85% grade average requirement to maintain the scholarships.

The IP scholars come from as far as Marilog in the third district.

The city government has already contacted the qualified STEP scholars for their documentary requirements and has announced the names of those qualified for the program.

“They will be enrolled as soon as they comply with the requirements,” Escalada said.

At last Sunday’s episode of Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa, Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte lauded physical therapy topnotcher Derek Dale Ang Bayquen, who made to the list of 10 highest grades at this year’s physical therapy exams.

Bayquen was a scholar of the government’s STEP educational aid for five years while he was taking up physical therapy at the Davao Doctor’s College.

The STEP alumnus received a grade of 83.80% at the licensure exams.

He graduated valedictorian from the Daniel R. Aguinaldo National High School and received financial assistance for the duration of the five-year course. (MindaNews)