I. Norte gov’t to intensify 2012 college studes scholarship program

By Florante A. Nicolas, PGIN- CMO

LAOAG CITY – For 2012, the provincial government of Ilocos Norte plans to intensify the scholarship program for college students and focus more on the National Assessment Test review and preparations of the schools in Ilocos Norte, according to the head of the Provincial Education Department.

Furthermore, the provincial government is set to screen 450 TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority) grantees who will be trained in different technical and vocational courses scheduled to begin this month.

“This year, the PED also plans to sponsor English proficiency seminars for teachers, provide incentives and continue the Saguip Maestra program, and institutionalize awards for deserving pupils and students including teachers. With all this preparations on deck, Ilocos Norte is relatively moving closer to achieve the MDG target on education in 2015,” PED Head Jeanette Dials said.

One of the main thrusts of the Millennium Development Goals of the provincial government of Ilocos Norte  is to ensure that primary education should be extended to all children in all corners of the province.

“The learning process in basic education is critical, because it assures the basic building blocks that will prepare our children to take on higher education or the chance for immediate employment after graduation,” Dials said.

Meanwhile, in 2011 alone, the number of scholars have dramatically increased to nearly 10,000 elementary pupils, high school, and college students from that of 6,000 in 2010. Thus, the provincial government has set aside at least P6 million to finance the scholars’ stipends, tuition fees, and other school needs.

“The numbers indicate that the provincial government ensures significant funding support not only to meet our Millennium Development Goals in basic education but also to help the children and our youth to achieve their full potential,” she added.

Acknowledging that equal access to education is the foundation for all other development goals, the PED since its inception in 2010, has also focused on basic educational facilities by constructing classrooms in areas experiencing acute classroom shortage.

Last year, the provincial government has built 13 two-classroom bungalow-type primary and elementary school buildings in the remote areas of Ilocos Norte apart from hundreds of school repairs it undertook since 2010.

“Our efforts in bringing education even to far flung areas brought us positive results. Both public and private schools registered an increase of 6,379 and 2,086 enrollees respectively in 2011,” Dials continued.

The numbers which indicate an increase of 23.57% in 2011 from that of 11.21% of enrollees in 2010 are composed of high school, elementary, and kindergartens.

The Provincial Education Department (PED) was instituted in 2010 to see to it that the campaign on educating more children and reaching out for a quality basic education are delivered province wide.#