4,073 faculty and staff from higher education institutions are now set to earn graduate degrees starting this school year through scholarships from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED)’s K to 12 Transition Program. 1,850 will take a new master’s degree while 1,379 will pursue a new doctorate degree.
Most scholars are from Luzon (44%), followed by Mindanao (34%). Nonetheless, the highest participating region is Region 8, which consists of provinces: Leyte, Southern Leyte, Samar, Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, and Biliran Island. It has 40% of its total higher education institutions (HEIs) nominating their personnel for scholarships.
Presently, only 39% of faculty in the country have master’s degrees. Of these, only half correspond to their teaching specialization. In neighboring ASEAN countries, such as Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Singapore, the rates range from 50-70%.
Through the graduate education scholarships, CHED aims to boost the number of faculty and staff with graduate degrees in the country to 70% by 2020. From this batch of scholars, 45% will pursue their master’s and 38% their doctorate.
Although CHED has been providing scholarships through the Faculty Development Program (FDP), non-timely completion has been mainly due to heavy teaching loads during their graduate studies.
With this, the K to 12 Transition Period from 2016 to 2021 presents a rare opportunity to upgrade the quality of faculty and staff who will receive reduced teaching loads while the usual college freshmen enrollees are still in Grades 11 and 12, as part of the K to 12 reform through Republic Act 10533.
To provide support to higher education institutions and personnel during this period, while leveraging this opportunity to upgrade the quality of higher education, CHED has designed a comprehensive range of developmental programs through the K to 12 Transition Program.
Programs include local and foreign scholarships and grants for faculty and staff, full-time or part-time, permanent and nonpermanent, and for higher education institutions. 6,000 scholarships are available this year alone, with a total of 15,000 scholarships until 2021.