A total of 260 scholars belonging to the early batches of the Scholarships for Teacher Education Programs to Upgrade Teacher Quality in the Philippines (STEP UP) of the  Australian Government completed their degrees and certificates in teacher education in various universities, 99 percent of whom passed the Board Licensure Examination for Professional Teachers (BLEPT) shortly after.

STEP UP is a scholarship program funded by the Australian Government under the BEST Program and implemented by the Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) . It seeks to attract good-performing college graduates and professionals into the teaching profession by offering them competitive scholarship packages.

A total of 1,000 scholarships have been awarded since 2015 to candidates who are aspiring teachers or young professionals, career shifters and graduates of any bachelor’s degrees except for BS Education. Of the total number of graduates, 169 received their Certificates in Teaching Program (CTP) and 91 were awarded bachelor’s degrees in education.

Beverly Cabrieto (center) completed her bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education (Physics)in March 2017 as a STEP UP scholar at the West Visayas State University in Iloilo City. She passed the Board Licensure Examination for Professional Teachers last September 2017.

Scholars are enrolled in ten (10) top-performing Teacher Education Institutions (TEIs) including the Philippine Normal University-Manila (PNU), Xavier University-Ateneo De Cagayan (XU), Ateneo de Naga University (ADNU), Ateneo de Zamboanga University (AdZU), Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU), West Visayas State University (WVSU) University of Southeastern Philippines- Obrero and Tagum (USEP), University of Sto. Tomas and Cebu Normal University (CNU).

Each scholar gets free tuition and other school fees, mentoring package, monthly allowance, semestral book allowance, semestral uniform allowance, monthly dormitory allowance, one-time relocation allowance, thesis or practice teaching allowance, reimbursable health allowance, graduation and miscellaneous fees, one-time return allowance, and a Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET) assistance package.

The goal of the program is to produce 1,000 high quality teachers ready for public school employment by 2019.