BONTOC, Mountain Province (PIA)

Thirty-nine students of the Mountain Province State Polytechnic College (MPSPC) recently received financial
assistance under the Student Monetary Assistance for Recovery and Transition (SMART) program of the Commission on Higher Education. The financial assistance is a one-time fixed grant where each qualified student enrolled in any undergraduate program for Academic Year 2023-2024 will receive P25,000.00. The fund is sourced from the Higher Education Development Fund under the National Employment Recovery Strategy, which aims to increase the success of students to graduate through scholarships despite the effects of the pandemic.

MPSPC president Dr. Edgar G. Cue said the assistance helps foster student engagement and lasting positive change. He challenged the beneficiaries to use the assistance as a stepping stone toward their educational development, and
personal growth. “As we embark on this activity, let me emphasize that this financial assistance which will be distributed today serves as a vital role of education in fostering lasting change specifically to our dear students. Education empowers individuals, creates opportunities and it does pave the way for viable growth and
development,” Cue said during the distribution of aid on January 15. Congressman Maximo Y. Dalog Jr. advised the students to spend their money wisely.

“In receiving this assistance today, may you be challenged and inspired in doing the best you can in your studies, so that you can make your parents, and those whose initiatives this SMART program was made possible,” he said.
Jolina G. Chopap-ing, one of the beneficiaries, said the cash aid can greatly help her in her studies especially since the integration of information communication technology in her course. She shared that through this grant, she will now be able to keep up with the demands of her course. ”Ngayong third year na po ako, madalas na po ang demo (almost in all subject po) sa amin and due to the integration of ICT sa education, laptop na po ginagamit sa demo teaching.

Almost everybody is using their laptops na din po. Napakalaki pong tulong itong galing sa SMART. At last po
makaka-avail na din po ako ng own laptop ko po [Now that I am a third year student, most of the time we make use of laptop in our demo teaching because of the integration of ICT in education. This assistance from SMART is a big
help because at I can already have my own laptop,]” she said. To qualify for the program, the applicant should not be a recipient of any national government funded scholarship or education grant; the combined household gross
annual income is not more than P400,000; and should be enrolled in any first undergraduate degree during the academic year 2023-2024.

(VJLT-PIA Mt. Province)

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