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Sunny Side Up
Friday, October 11, 2013
“HELLO! Is this DOST?” I heard the soft voice from the other end as I answered the phone during lunch break.
I had my brunch about two hours before, thus, was not hungry yet, and I took the pleasure of answering the office calls.
“Yes, ma’am, this is DOST. What can I do for you?”
“This is the mother of one of the applicants for the PSHS scholarship examination, and, ma’am, I have found out that my daughter’s testing center is at CMU, Bukidnon. We wish for her to take the exam in Cagayan de Oro City.
“Ah, okay. May I know your daughter’s full name?”
“Allissa Almirante, ma’am.”
And what followed was a friendly interaction, coming from both mothers who could very well relate to each other.
“Ma’am Tess, I really wish my daughter to study at Philippine Science High School as I see her inclination in science and mathematics. I want to spare her the stress, the tension, so that come October 12, all that she could focus on is hurdle the examination.”
“Yes, ma’am April, and I hope and pray for that, too. Don’t worry, we will see to it that she takes the exam at Cagayan de Oro City. And all she would do is concentrate on passing the examination.”
We hang up after giving each other’s contact numbers.
As I went back to my work desk, I smiled, happy, reflecting on what transpired between me and April.
Indeed, I can relate with her and I wished that most mothers are like her—very supportive of their children, inspiring their kids to develop their potentials.
I remember that time I was still new at National Science and Technology Authority (NSTA), the former name of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
One of the programs that was laid right into my face was the scholarship programs, including that of the Philippine Science High School (PSHS).
I remember how I would assist in receiving application forms, processing them, and yes, serving as proctor during the scholarship examination.
I also remember how parents would come to the office to check the result of the exam, and the joy, the pride in their facial expression, after knowing that their child passed.
And how I witnessed seeing one father, a noted politician belonging to a prominent family, paid a visit to our former NSTA head, Engr. Frank Chatto (he is now reunited with His creator), tried to talk him out to let his son get to study at PSHS, as he said it would add prestige to the family name.
Of course, Engr. Chatto tried told him that one gets to study at PSHS only because he/she has aptitude in science and mathematics and the result of the scholarship examination would prove this. I think the man left with a lesson learned.
Going back to ma’am April. I salute her. I could sense that she is a young mother, too, and is always going out of her way to inspire her children to discover their full potentials. But not all mothers are like ma’am April.
What is this PSHS, and what’s the big deal about it why some parents would go out of their way just so the children could study at the PSHS?
PSHS is the premiere science high school in the country under DOST and students are put in an environment where their aptitude in science and technology is further developed.
They are being molded to become future scientists, mathematicians, engineers, researchers.
Qualifiers in the PSHS scholarship examination enjoy free tuition fees, uniform allowance, free use of laboratories and textbooks, transportation allowance and a monthly allowance, the amount of which depends on their family’s socio-economic status.
Above all, PSHS students receive high quality education and enjoy a well-balanced life—time for studying, playing, time management, budgeting, being independent, and most of all, how to respect others.
PSHS used to have one campus only, the main campus at Diliman, Quezon City.
To date, there are now 13 PSHS Campuses all over the country, the new addition is the PSHS-Caraga Campus.
In Mindanao, we have the PSHS-Southern Mindanao Campus in Davao City, PSHS-Central Mindanao Campus in Baloi, Iligan City, and SOCKSARGEN Campus in Koranadal.
On October 12, Saturday, about 22,000 graduating pupils all over the country would take the qualifying examination and those who would qualify would join the other ongoing PSHS scholars and, yes, the other PSHS alumni who are now well-placed in the academe, research institutions, big companies, public schools and government institutions.
I wish Allissa Almirante the best of luck and I pray that you become PSHS scholar.
And to ma’am April, keep up the good work and continue to be the very supportive mother that you are to your kids.
I would like to tell you, ma’am April, that I am a very proud mother of one PSHS scholar, Matt Arnilo Baluyos. I see that it’s all worth it!
(For comments and feedback, you may email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 11, 2013.