‘Being a Pisay student entails many privileges’
Academicians and former scholars of the Philippine Science High School (PSHS) are encouraging parents who have children who excel in Math and/or Science to help their kids pursue their interest beginning with enrolling them in the country’s best science high school.
“Kapag nakapasa ka, para kang nanalo sa sweepstakes,” PSHS Deputy Executive Director Rod Allan de Lara said, underscoring the perks of being a scholar of the PSHS, popularly known as “Pisay”.
Known for its rigorous and challenging academic system focusing on advanced Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, de Lara said most PSHS scholars pursue their college and even post-graduate studies on scholarship.
In licensure exams and even in the college entrance examination of the University of the Philippines, de Lara said 95 to 99 percent of top passers were scho-lars of the PSHS.
Privileges of a PSHS scholar are free tuition, free loan of textbooks, monthly stipend of between P500 to P4,000, uniform, transportation and living allowances for low income groups, and dormitory accommodation if applicable.
“Besides these privileges, we also finance their participation in international competitions and conferences,” de Lara said referring to the funds the Department of Science and Technology infuses to Filipino students who excel in Math and Science.
Admission to the PSHS is one of the most difficult as the 16 campuses only admit a certain number of scholars yearly. For the PSHS-Cordillera, only 90 are admitted per grade, per year.
To qualify, a grade 6 student should pass the national competitive examination (NCE) that tests the applicant’s abstract reasoning ability, verbal, Science, and Math aptitudes. The student should also have a final grade of 85 percent or higher in Math and Science.
The PSHS suspended the NCE last academic year and this year due to the pandemic but have adopted an alternative system of screening.
PSHS-Cordillera Campus Director Edward Albaracin said incoming grade 7 students would be assessed beginning in fifth grade where they should consistently have a grade of at least 85 or above in Math and Science. If the grades in said subjects are lower than 85, he/she must provide evidence that he/she belongs to the upper 10 percent of the class.
Incoming students will also be assessed of their emotional and psychological preparedness for the rigorous curriculum of the PSHS system.
For those aspiring to have their children or relatives be a scholar of the PSHS, de Lara encouraged parents to begin inculcating in the minds of children to appreciate Math and Science.
DOST Sec. Renato Solidum added Math and Science should be taught beginning in kindergarten.
“When in kindergarten, studying is fun. Hindi pa conscious ang mga bata sa mga assignment. So when we begin teaching them early, they begin to appreciate these as they get older.
Solidum said curriculum for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math-related courses has also been improved by adding entrepreneurship to also enhance the business acumen of future scientists of the country.
Solidum, other officials of the DOST, and students from the 16 campuses of the PSHS were in Baguio last week for the annual celebration of the “Ugnayan with Pisay,” the intramurals of PSHS which started in 2018. The last ugnayan was in 2019 at its Koronadal campus.
This year’s ugnayan, which banners the theme “Breaking the barriers of stereotyping in sports, dance, and music,” is hosted by the PSHS-Cordillera campus. – Rimaliza A. Opiña