By Joey Natividad
CITY OF NAGA, Bicol Region, Philippines – Private-funded scholars groomed for the teaching profession have gathered here and shared their experiences with private sector leaders.
The scholars have been supported by Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) which continues to honor its STEP UP scholars through a series of nationwide mixers.
A nonprofit founded by the country’s top CEOs, PBEd is the business community’s response to the need for greater education and economic alignment. Its advocacies include teacher quality improvement and workforce development.
PBEd’s Scholarships for Teacher Education Programs to Upgrade Teacher Quality in the Philippines (STEP UP) is a five-year scholarship campaign, funded by the Australian Government.
Since 2015, the program has graduated 850 scholars, with approximately a 99% passing rate for the Board Licensure Examination for Professional Teachers.
The scholarship gives opportunities to 112 applicants of different backgrounds from the Bicol region to pursue a teaching profession. STEP UP scholars from the Ateneo de Naga University, one of PBEd’s partner teacher education institutions, shared their individual journeys to become a teacher during the Partnership Mixer held at The Avenue Plaza Hotel in Naga City on June 14.
“[The scholarship]…sparked my love for teaching and…I can sincerely say that had I not taken the chance at applying for the scholarship, I would not have had the inner peace I am enjoying today,” shared Jerma Ilarde, a 2018 graduate.
Representatives from the Department of Education (DepEd) were also present during the mixer. Dr. Cristito Eco, Assistant Regional Director of DepEd Region V, assured the scholars that they have a place in the region. He also gave information on which cities are in need of teachers.
STEP UP is one of PBEd’s programs addressing teacher quality in the country. The improvement of teacher quality is a cornerstone of PBEd’s education reform efforts. [BicolToday.com with Ros Velasco]