Investing in the Brain Trust
Published by the Visayan Daily Star
Editor-in-Chief & President
Bureau Chief, Dumaguete
MAJA P. DELY
|CARLOS ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA
The Department of Science and Technology announced it will increase the monthly stipend for government post-graduate scholars pursuing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) studies.
Josette Biyo, DOST Science Education Institute executive director said that starting school year 2017-2018, the monthly stipend for government scholars pursuing master in science degrees and doctorate in science has been increased to P25,000 from P20,000, and P33,000 from P28,000, respectively.
This increase that follows one last school year is to encourage government post-graduate scholars to graduate on time as the DOST is determined to have a critical mass of scientists and engineers who will be the brain trust needed by the country as it seeks to attain sustainable inclusive economic growth.
Biyo added that, based on a UNESCO study, a country that wants to attain sustainable economic development needs 380 scientists and engineers for every 1 million population. The latest data of DOST shows that the current ratio in the Philippines is now 270 per million and that is the gap that our government means to close.
Increasing the stipend for post-graduate scholars pursuing STEM studies will hopefully keep them in school and help them graduate so they can use their knowledge to contribute to the country's growth and development.
As the DOST strives to enhance financial support for the further education of our country's scientists and engineers, we hope the government also has a comprehensive and long term plan to keep those brilliant minds in the country. A decent stipend may help finish their studies and fair compensation could keep them satisfied once they start working for the country but without the respect and support of a government that recognizes talent, competence and potential by giving them real opportunities to challenge the status quo and improve the system, frustration could set in and everything our country has spent to keep our scientists and build the country's brain trust could very easily go to waste.
Our country's best and brightest might not be impressive today but a people that invests in and nurtures its brain trust will surely reap the benefits of its best and brightest when their time finally comes.*