Scholars who didn't take science courses owe P6.8M to PSHS
MANILA, Philippines – Former students from the Philippine Science High School’s (PSHS) Western Visayas campus and the Cordillera Administrative Region campus owe the school P6.861 million for not pursuing science and technology courses in the university level.
These were among the findings of the Commission on Audit’s (COA) 2017 annual audit report of the school. State auditors said the payments remain uncollected, therefore “depriving the government of additional funds that could have been utilized to finance other priority programs.”
The COA gave the following breakdown of overdue payments as of December 2017:
Students who did not enroll in a science and technology course in college
- Western Visayas campus - P6.283 million
- Cordillera Administrative Region campus - P301,000
Students who did not finish the PSHS’ program because they were expelled
- Western Visayas campus - P277,000
Breached contract: Scholarship agreements between the PSHS and its awardees specify that students are to maintain a good academic standing, complete the school’s program, and later on enroll in a science and technology course in any university identified by its board of trustees (BOT).
The Department of Science and Technology's (DOST) Manpower Development Program also specifies students from the school are required to take a science or math related course in college. The DOST is in charge of overseeing the PSHS' system.
State auditors said students who fail to fulfill these requirements must reimburse the “monetary value of the scholarship award based on the rates approved by the PSHS BOT.”
However, COA noted there were no legal remedies in the provisions of the school’s scholarship agreement which the PSHS may pursue to recover funds from failed scholarships.
As to measures taken by the school, state auditors said the Western Visayas campus sent demand letters to students and their parents. The, however, remain unheeded.
Meanwhile, the Cordillera Administrative region campus did not send any demand letters.
What can the school do? COA said the PSHS should consider adding to its scholarship agreements the legal actions it can take against reneging scholars and their parents.
They also said the registrar of the school’s Western Visayas Campus, where bulk of the overdue funds are owed, should monitor the students who did not complete the school’s programs to allow their accountant to add the money owed to its records and prepare demand letters for the refund of scholarships.
The PSHS offers a curriculum focused on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to prepare students for sciences and engineering careers. Its ultimate goal is to help beef up the country's scientific manpower. – Rappler.com
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