BUTUAN CITY – The establishment of a state-run tertiary school for the Province of Dinagat Islands will provide avenues for the growing number of Grade 12 graduates to pursue higher and technical education.
This was according to Dinagat Islands Lone District Representative Alan 1 Ecleo, who filed House Bill (HB) No. 321 seeking the creation of a government tertiary educational institution in the province to be known as the Dinagat Islands State College.
In a statement Tuesday, Ecleo said the measure, which was filed during the opening of the 19th Congress, is now pending with the Committee on Higher and Technical Education in the Lower House.
“We will pursue the approval and enactment into law of this legislative measure,” he said.
Ecleo pointed out that the island province "does not lack students who are ready to pursue further studies."
During the school years 2017-2018 to 2019-2020, he said Dinagat Islands produced around 3,838 Grade 12 graduates projecting a graduation rate of 98.47 percent.
The province has 33 secondary level schools and one tertiary institution that is privately-owned.
“What is lacking, however, is a state university or college (SUC) to provide avenues for its residents to pursue public tertiary education, especially among its most economically challenged and vulnerable sectors,” Ecleo said.
Due to the absence of a SUC, families who cannot afford to pay tuition and miscellaneous fees opt to send their children to Surigao City, or as far as Cebu City, Cagayan de Oro City, Butuan City, and Marawi City to secure a public tertiary education.
Sending the children to distant public tertiary schools, the lawmaker said, entails burdensome costs for hard-up families in the island province.
Ecleo also observed that the growing economy and trade in the Dinagat Islands need sufficient workers in the industry.
A state college right within the island, he said, will help provide competent and technically-equipped workforces, especially in the fields of fisheries, agriculture, environmental science, mining engineering, marine engineering, hospitality management, and food technology.
“Without the establishment of a state college in the province, not only is the employment and economic development in the local economy of Dinagat Islands in jeopardy, but it also means the vicious cycle of poverty pervasive in its population will not be broken,” Ecleo said. (PNA)