A total of 28 Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) teachers got full scholarships for postgraduate studies in Australia through the International Cooperation Agreement (ICA) signed between the Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) and Queensland University of Technology (QUT).
With this, DOST-SEI said that STEM education in the country will get a much-needed boost.
DOST Secretary Renato U. Solidum Jr. and DOST-SEI Director Josette Biyo signed the accord for the DOST-SEI, while QUT School of Teacher Education and Leadership Head Prof. Dann Mallet and QUT International Projects Unit Director Dr. Nelson Salangsang represented QUT. The ICA signing was witnessed by Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Hae Kyong Yu who outlined the partnership’s significance.
“We all know that science, technology, and research doesn’t happen by itself. It all starts in a classroom with students inspired by teachers who create a sense of fun and excitement around STEM. How exciting that we got excellent teachers going to QUT to become even better experts, ”she said in a speech during the ceremony.
An economist, Yu, reiterated how science and technology lead to economic growth. She also cited that the ICA is an opportunity to welcome Filipino STEM educators to the dynamic Australian alumni community, and a means to emphasize the remarkable ties between Australia and the Philippines.
DOST-SEI explained that the partnership will fuel DOST-SEI’s “Scholarship for the Advancement of STEM Education” or Project SASE. The first batch of scholars is from the Philippine Science High System (PSHS) System. Sixteen teachers will take Master of Education specializing in STEM Education, while 12 will pursue Doctor of Education at the QUT in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, to commence in January 2023.
“This is another milestone for the DOST-SEI, one that is so special to us because it is an outcome of our recent Executive Leadership Training in Australia,” shares Dr. Biyo. She credits SEI Scholarship Division Chief Peter Gerry Gavina for conceptualizing and leading the project.
Project SASE is a capacity-building program under DOST-SEI’s Foreign Graduate Scholarships (FGS). To date, the Institute has 101 FGS scholars pursuing their graduate studies in 23 different countries, mostly in fields of study not yet offered in any higher education institute in the Philippines.
The DOST-SEI spearheads the country’s science scholarship programs, including the S&T Undergraduate Scholarships which recently awarded more than 10,000 scholarship slots to incoming college students. Project SASE scholars are challenged to develop innovative STEM teaching strategies and lead the transformation of STEM education in the country.
For Solidum ,, the SEI-QUT partnership will strengthen the country’s S&T human capital and exemplify the Department’s new slogan ‘One DOST for you’. The DOST is refocusing some of its programs to align with the government’s economic agenda.
“We wanted science, technology, and innovation to address challenges faced by key sectors. But to accomplish that, we must build our human capital, ”he said.
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