“Iskolar” is a flagship program of the ARMM government granting partial and full scholarship to poor but deserving students in the region.
Now on its 2nd phase of implementation, the scholarship program has provided educational assistance to more than a thousand top qualifiers who passed the screening process.
The scholars went through rigid and transparent examinations and a panel interview overseen by Sangcopan, Deputy Chief Assistant Secretary Numeiry Jalani, and representatives from partner agencies like the Commission on Higher Education.
Sangcopan urged the scholars to do their best in their studies. “Parallel with the privilege is your responsibility to maintain your grades eligible for the scholarship.”
John Mokudef, 19, of the indigenous tribe Teduray is studying BS Agriculture at the Upi Agricultural School in Upi, Maguindanao.
“The Iskolar program is a big help for our family and to me personally. I can continue my college for free. In fact, I share some of my allowance with my other brothers who are also in school,” he said.
John’s family solely depends on farming as primary source of income. He’s the fifth child in a brood of seven.
Al Rashid Balabagan, 18, son of a widow and a 2nd year education student at the Cotabato City State Polytechnic College urged his fellow scholars to continue banking on their dreams and to never waste the given opportunity.
“We are very much privileged for being chosen out of the thousands who applied. We have to prove that we deserve this,” he said.
Al Rashid also conveyed his message for those who weren’t able to make it on the list. “Huwag mawalan ng pag-asa, take lang ng take, ituloy lang paghanap ng oportunidad para makapag-aral para sa sariling kinabukasan.”