TACLOBAN CITY – The regional Commission on Higher Education (CHED) has called on students anew to take priority courses for them to get scholarship aid and increase their chance of employment after college. CHED Regional Director Maura Consolacion Cristobal also encouraged higher learning institutions (HEIs) to offer the recommended field of studies to address labor mismatch and spur economic growth.

“Those who will take these courses starting this school year until 2018 have a big chance to avail of scholarship grants from the government,” Cristobal said.
The CHED has allocated P172 million for scholarship grants this academic year for 14,000 college students out of the 20,000 applicants in the region.
The commission’s budget for scholarship significantly increased following the diversion of priority development assistance fund (PDAF) of the congressmen to CHED’s coffer.

For academic years, starting 2014 – 2015 up to 2017-2018, CHED has listed in-demand college courses (with corresponding share of scholarship funds) related to agriculture (15 percent), engineering (15 percent), science and mathematics (13 percent), information technology (10 percent), teacher education (10 percent), health sciences (10 percent), arts and humanities (5 percent), social and behavioral sciences (5 percent), business administration and related courses (5 percent), architecture (5 percent), maritime (2 percent), and communication (2 percent).

Cristobal said that listed priority courses are still within the thrust of the Regional Development Plan until 2016 that tagged agriculture, information and communication technology, and eco-tourism as major economic growth driver. “We urge schools to offer these courses and students to consider taking these fields of studies since these were identified by CHED through consultations with the Philippine Association of Universities and Colleges, National Economic Development and Department of Labor and Employment,” Cristobal added. (SARWELL Q.MENIANO)