QUEZON CITY – In a recent public hearing held by the Bangsamoro Parliament’s Science and Technology Committee, representatives from various Philippine Science High Schools pledged their commitment to help establish the proposed Bangsamoro Science High School (BSHS) once BTA Bill No. 37 is enacted.
On behalf of the participating schools, Philippine Science High School Main Campus Director Lawrence Madriaga expressed their willingness to collaborate and support the new institution once it becomes operational.
He emphasized that establishing and maintaining a science high school is a complex task, especially when dealing with gifted students who require competent teachers who excel in their respective fields.
As the first science high school in the Philippines, Madriaga stated that the PSHS-Main Campus can contribute by capacitating and training teachers, crafting the curriculum, and sharing insights on operating a science high school effectively.
Department of Energy Undersecretary Rowena Cristina Guevara also highlighted the significance of selecting the first director for the BSHS, as their leadership will greatly influence the success of the school.
Guevara further recommended a shift from an achievement-based test to an aptitude test for student admissions, as it would assess their ability to learn and grow within the institution.
During the public hearing in Quezon City, several key concerns were raised, including the structural composition of the building, proper facilities, equipment for laboratories, a suitable location, curriculum development, the hiring and capacity-building of directors and teachers, and financial assistance for students.
Committee members presented the key features of the proposed measure, emphasizing the measure’s objectives, which would create a science high school that would be at par with other renowned science high schools in the country.
The Bangsamoro Parliament is spearheading efforts to establish a science high school in the region and will incorporate standards that align with the region’s cultural context.
The proposed institution aims to provide qualified learners in the Bangsamoro region with access to quality education in science and technology, eliminating the need for them to seek education opportunities outside the region.
COST Chair Suharto Esmael admitted that “it is challenging for qualified students to pursue their academic aspirations” due to the absence of a science high school in BARMM.
He explained that the Bangsamoro government is responding to this problem by filing BTA Bill No. 37, also known as the Bangsamoro Science High School System Act of 2022, which will “provide our students with a venue and opportunities to excel in the field of science.”
MOST Minister Engr. Aida Silongan said that the committee is dedicated to improving the bill to ensure that the establishment of the BSHS meets scientific standards while respecting and integrating the values of education and faith of learners in the Bangsamoro region.
Silongan said that the school system would address the long-standing issue of poor performance in the fields of science and mathematics in the region.
She hopes that the initiative will attract highly qualified teachers who can provide quality instruction and mentorship to the learners.
Due to a lack of educational opportunities and resources, she noted that many students from the Bangsamoro region have historically found it challenging to pursue professions in the sciences; however, the construction of the school will help bridge the gap.
Upon its establishment and operation, the BSHS will be in Parang, Maguindanao del Norte, and will also serve as a hub for scientific excellence, fostering an environment conducive to learning and innovation.
The committee encourages all concerned stakeholders to submit their position papers regarding BTA Bill No. 37 by June 9. (LTAIS-Public Information, Publication, and Media Relations Division)