MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, Nov. 17 (PIA) — Six hundred forty-three “Iskolar” students from Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur received their scholarship allowance on November 11 at the Office of the Bangsamoro People in Cotabato City.
Governor Mujiv S. Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and his chief of staff, Amihilda Sangcopan, handed over to each Iskolar beneficiary check amounting to P10,000 for full scholarship and P5,000 for partial scholars to defray educational cost for the 2nd semester of school year 2014.
“Iskolar” is a flagship program of the ARMM government granting partial and full scholarship to poor but deserving students in the region.

Now on its 2nd phase of implementation, the scholarship program has provided educational assistance to more than a thousand top qualifiers who passed the screening process.

The scholars went through rigid and transparent examinations and a panel interview overseen by Sangcopan, Deputy Chief Assistant Secretary Numeiry Jalani, and representatives from partner agencies like the Commission on Higher Education.

Sangcopan urged the scholars to do their best in their studies. “Parallel with the privilege is your responsibility to maintain your grades eligible for the scholarship.”

Around 11,000 aspirants were screened for the Iskolar program in the five component provinces of ARMM this year.

John Mokudef, 19, of the indigenous tribe Teduray is studying BS Agriculture at the Upi Agricultural School in Upi, Maguindanao.
He expressed gratitude for the scholarship granted by the working ARMM government, which he said has provided him the opportunity to continue his education despite the financial constraint faced by his family.
“The Iskolar program is a big help for our family and to me personally. I can continue my college for free. In fact, I share some of my allowance with my other brothers who are also in school,” he said.
John’s family solely depends on farming as primary source of income. He’s the fifth child in a brood of seven.
Al Rashid Balabagan, 18, son of a widow and a 2nd year education student at the Cotabato City State Polytechnic College urged his fellow scholars to continue banking on their dreams and to never waste the given opportunity.
“We are very much privileged for being chosen out of the thousands who applied. We have to prove that we deserve this,” he said.
Al Rashid also conveyed his message for those who weren’t able to make it on the list. “Huwag mawalan ng pag-asa, take lang ng take, ituloy lang paghanap ng oportunidad para makapag-aral para sa sariling kinabukasan.”(Bureau of Public Information-ARMM/APB/PIA-10)