COTABATO CITY—A total of 133 Bangsamoro Assistance for Science Education (BASE) and BASE-Merit scholars received their 3-month allowance from the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) on Tuesday, Oct. 25.
The scholars, who at the same time took oath at the Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex (SKCC), Bangsamoro Government Center in this city, were from Maguindanao, Special Geographic area (SGA), and Cotabato City.
The BASE grantees received checks worth Php24,000.00 each, while the BASE-Merit scholars received Php60,000.00 each.
MOST Minister Engr. Aida Silongan said that their office is granting stipends to deserving students under the BASE Program to advance science and technology innovations in the region.
“Now, we are glad the new program [BASE-Merit] will now commence. It intends for students who are pursuing highly specialized courses that are helpful for Bangsamoro. These courses also attempt to combat economic challenges that will uplift the living conditions in the region, In Sha Allah,” said Silongan.
Bahar Kasim, 18, is one of the grantees from Pikit, North Cotabato who is currently taking up a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Agriculture at the University of Southern Mindanao (USM)- Kabacan.
“Ako ay isang farmer at mga magulang ko ay farmer din. Sobrang hirap na mag-aral kung walang financial assistance. Tumutulong akong mag-farm para may pang gastos sa pang-araw-araw na gastusin sa school. Ngayon ay sobra ang tuwa ko. Mas mag-susumikap [pa akong] mag-aral. Maraming salamat sa BARMM at MOST dahil mayroon silang programa na ganito para sa Bangsamoro,” Kasim said.
Another scholar, Neil Dhariel Pagas, 18, who is taking up BS Electronic Engineering at the same university, thanked the Bangsamoro Government for catering to the settler communities.
“Maraming salamat sa Bangsamoro Government, malaking tulong ito sa pag-aaral ko. Kung makatapos ako gusto ko rin na makatulong lalo na sa mga mag-aaral,” he said.
The ceremonial mass oath-taking was also graced by Education Minister Mohagher Iqbal and Bangsamoro Mufti Abuhuraira Udasan, who administered their oath.
Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim said in a video message, “we, in the Bangsamoro government, value education as a tool to attain peace for the region. It is through education that has been anchored to peace—a peace that we can be able to fulfill or share as an individual.”
The Ministry will also be distributing stipends to scholars from the areas of Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi in November 2022. (Majid Nur/BIO)