Tell it to SunStar: Paglaum scholarship

IN COLLEGE, parents have to shell out a big amount of money for the welfare of their children. Students themselves also have to and that is why many are hoping to get even a single scholarship. I have always wanted to have a scholarship, but reality hits me and I was not able to. One must undergo a series of processes, like submission of requirements and the multiple interviews. Many of the applicants will have to shoulder their own expenses when it comes to their fare and food. Many are fortunate enough to have a scholarship, may it be in full or half. Getting a scholarship is like winning the jackpot prize in a lottery. It’s a dream for many, especially for financially-challenged students like me as a scholarship alleviates that burden of seeking matriculation.

It is a nightmare for many as Cebu Provincial Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia declared to abolish the Paglaum Scholarship program because she has to reassess the fate of the students based on their academic performance. At the same time, the Province is thinking of offering a new scholarship, leaving many other scholars to lose their grant next school year. As the governor will establish a new scholarship, it would fade the hopes of students who are part of the Paglaum program. I protest and stand with the scholars as the governor plans to phase the Paglaum scholarship out, because it is an aid for them to keep up with school while struggling with poverty. The beneficiaries of the program are in much need of financial assistance as they belong to the indigent members of our community in the province and taking away their scholarship is like depriving them of their right to literacy.

This is an open letter to our beloved governor on behalf of those beneficiaries to stand firm on your decision to support what has been started and not to abolish the scholarship. This is also an appeal to continue the project because this has been helping many students. The objective of the program is to produce graduates from rural poor families, but now it seems like they will be abandoned by the Capitol. Three years after the program was implemented, 11 of these non-valedictorian and non-academic stars during their basic education, graduated with Latin honors when they reached college.

Getting a scholarship is like hitting two birds with one stone: As students are being helped, it’s also a big leap of action taken by the government in helping students achieve their dreams in the palm of their hands. Some scholars are dropouts whom the program helped get back on the formal education track. And most of the scholars are graduating students whose status are affected by the governor’s plan to phase out the Paglaum Scholarship program. Having a diploma and finishing their education is their only way to alleviate the plight of their family but, in a snap of powerful fingers, this would be taken away from them, crushing their dreams. (By Xandra Monicka R. Tomarong, Bachelor of Arts in International Studies, University of San Jose-Recoletos)


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