COTABATO CITY – Bangsamoro Government’s education ministry granted scholarship to 799 incoming 1st year college students from the cities of Cotabato and Marawi, provinces of Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur, and from the 63 barangays in North Cotabato.
On Monday, December 7, some of the scholars started signing their Notice of Award (NOA) and scholarship contract at the Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex, Bangsamoro Government Center in the city. The signing will continue tomorrow Dec 8.
The students passed the qualification process for the Access to Higher and Modern Education Scholarship Program (AHME-SP), one of the flagship programs of the Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education (MBHTE) introduced this year.
Also known as the Bangsamoro IQ Scholar, the scholarship complements existing higher education scholarship, subsidy, loan, and similar programs implemented in BARMM for qualified Senior High School and Alternative Learning System graduates who will enroll as freshmen college students. The students must enroll to AHME-SP priority programs on Science, Technology, and Mathematics; Engineering; Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries; and other programs for economic development.
The ministry also gave special eligibility to combatants, their children, orphans, or surviving spouses who met the minimum qualifications. This is in line with the Bangsamoro Government’s post-conflict rehabilitation and development efforts.
Around 1,400 students across the BARMM were targeted to benefit from the said scholarship; 799 made it from the mainland provinces while the rest will be coming from the provincial islands of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.
The scholarship is effective from 1st semester of Academic Year 2020-2021 until AY 2023-2024, subject to the promotion of MBHTE Memorandum Circular No. 286, s. 2020 with Php30,000.00 allowances per semester or Php60,000.00 per academic year.
Honor or regular students need to maintain a minimum General Weighted Average (GWA) of at least 80% (or its equivalent), while at least 75% (or its equivalent) for students with special disability.
Iris Dinah Bacaraman, 21, Maranao, BS Physics student at Mindanao State University-Main Campus, said she availed the scholarship because she has five siblings and it will be helpful for her parents to lessen the burden of school expenses.
“Yung father ko lang po ang nagtatrabaho para sa amin, yung fund malaking tulong na po. At since pandemic ay lage kaming naka-online class, kailangan po naming mag-load every 3-days,” she said.
Hissam Rumaguia, 19, Maguindanaon, BS Social Work student in Cotabato City State Polytechnic College, shared that the provided subsidy will greatly support his financial needs in school, especially on projects and allowance.
“Malaking tulong po itong AHME scholarship program lalo nasa mga magulang kong farmer na nagpapa-aral sa akin. Plano ko pong mag-boarding house kasi malayo rin po ‘yung sa amin, sa Sultan Mastura, Maguindanao,” he said.
MBHTE is yet to announce the contract signing schedule for scholarship beneficiaries from the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi. (Bureau of Public Information)