Ilocos Norte admits more scholars to promote inclusive growth

LAOAG CITY — From 105 scholars in Academic Year 2011-2012, the Ilocos Norte government now supports a total of 1,487 undergraduate and technical-vocational scholars for the second semester of Academic Year 2016-2017, posing a drastic increase in student assistance.

“Buti pa kayo ngayon, may mga ganyang scholarship na. Noong kami ang nag-aaral, hindi kami nakapagtapos dahil wala naman ganyang programa noon. Kung mayroon lang sana noon, nakapagtapos din sana ako (It’s good for you, you have this kind of scholarship now. During our time, we were not able to finish school for lack of program like this. If there had been one, I should have had the opportunity to finish education.”),” said Kaye Ann Domingsil, a resident of remote Barangay Cabisucolan in Vintar, Ilocos Norte, quoting some elders in her neighborhood as saying.

Domingsil, one of the beneficiaries of the provincial scholarship grant, further said, “I am grateful to Governor Imee Marcos for prioritizing the scholarship program for the youth. If there had been more opportunities offered to students before, then life could have been better now.”

As a former Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) scholar, she explained that Sirib scholarships urge holistic growth, not only assisting students financially, but also contributing to their personal development and sense of volunteerism through community involvement.

She also urged her fellow Ilocano youth to avail of the various scholarship programs of the provincial government and become a youth volunteer to learn more skills and gain more friends instead of just wasting time doing nothing.

Her father Alex now tells her, “It good for you to become a volunteer. You will learn a lot and it will help you in the future when you look for a job.”

Domingsil admits that prior to her admission as a scholar, she thought of going abroad after graduation just like some of her neighbors who did it and are now well-off.

She later realized that she would rather invest the skills, knowledge, and attitudes in her home province.

With the increasing employment opportunities in the province, she believes that all Ilocanos would be able to find a good job and livelihood in the province if they would push for it.

When Governor Marcos launched her threefold vision for Ilocos Norte to become “livable, sustainable, and resilient,” at the heart of her goal was to ensure that working overseas and away from family would be a choice and not a last resort for Ilocanos. She envisions a province wherein everything needed for a fulfilling life, including recreation, education, and employment, could be found.

With a renewed perspective, Domingsil’s goal now is to serve and give back to Ilocos Norte.