THE GOVERNMENT should launch a scholarship program for civil engineering to encourage more senior high school students to pursue the degree and work in the country, a senator said on Tuesday.
“We need to take steps to increase the number of students in our human capital pool who are prepared to pursue further studies in civil engineering… and to stay and work as civil engineers in the country that will enable the government to meet its infrastructure needs,” Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian, who chairs the Senate Basic Education Committee, said in a statement.
The proposed scholarship will be under the Department of Science and Technology.
Mr. Gatchalian said about 56,000 additional civil engineers will be needed by 2026, based on private market research firm GlobalData’s estimates on the Philippine construction industry’s growth rate.
Mr. Gatchalian noted that few senior high school students opt for the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) strand, while the average passing rate of civil engineering board exam takers has been less than 50% in the past five years.
Citing data from the Department of Education, he said only 23% of 2.8 million senior high school students enrolled in the STEM strand for school year 2022-2023.
Meanwhile, the average passing rate in the civil engineering licensure exams from 2017 to 2022 was 41%, with an average of 8,742 new civil engineers annually.
A yearly average of 2,486 civil engineering graduates left the Philippines from 2018 to 2022, he added. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan