Attuned to its objective of enhancing quality education by providing more scholarship opportunities, the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte has granted a total of 1,919 scholarships to the Ilocano youth in 2015.
At least 459 students were the early recipients of the Sirib Academic Scholarship, according to the Provincial Education Office.
But now, this number more than tripled with a total of 1,460 students benefiting from the Sirib Academic Scholarship or the Sirib Community Leaders Scholarship.
Scholarship programs pave the way for training youth leaders, particularly through involvement in the Sirib Ilokano Kabataan Association (SIKA) which promotes volunteerism among youth to work together for the development of their respective communities.
Aside from free tuition fees and stipends, students who possess a Sirib discount card can enjoy discounts from Baker’s Percent Bakeshop and City Cup Café.
Since 2010, the PGIN has shouldered over 39,000 elementary, 16,000 high school, and 3,000 college scholarships.
Wide range for learning has been an aim of Governor Imee Marcos, reflected in her vision for Ilocos Norte as a learning hub and learning community, hence the establishment of the “Heroes Walk” near the University Belt to inspire the youth on Ilocano heroes’ heritage.
Access to information technology is also a vital part of this goal, and in the past year alone, 38 i-hubs have been established and 650 computer units have been distributed in Ilocos Norte’s two cities and various municipalities.
Making education more inclusive is in line with the province’s aim to alleviate poverty and minimize unemployment, translating into a higher human development index and sustainable livelihoods for the Ilocanos.
These endeavors also drive PGIN forward in attaining the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), a United Nations initiative established in the year 2000.
“We have done what we set out to do, exceeding poverty, employment, education, maternal health, and reforestation. From the alarming poverty woes in 2010, poverty rate dipped to a record of 8.4%,” said Governor Marcos in her 2015 State of the Province Address.
The eight-fold MDG concerns not only universal primary education and extreme poverty, but also targets gender equality, maternal health, HIV/AIDS and other diseases, environmental sustainability, and global partnerships for development.
A culture of nurturing human capital and assisting those in need was strongly reflected in Governor Marcos’ words: “Timpuyog or community is how our Ilocano world really works… That great wealth of every Ilocano… everywhere throughout the country and the world, ready to help and build together.” – (Mizpah Grace G. Castro, PGIN-CMO)