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The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) provides training and education programs that benefit OFWs and their dependents. One such program is the Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP), which was implemented in 2004. From 2004 to 2013, a total of 380 beneficiaries graduated from this program. However, no convincing evidence of the results of the program, especially as regards its beneficiaries, is yet available. Thus, there exists a strong need to gather insights into how the program has contributed to the career development of it scholars so as to properly manage and direct the outcomes of future education and training programs.

Hence, the OWWA commissioned the Institute for Labor Studies (ILS) to undertake a tracer study of the EDSP. Research results will support the policy and program development processes of the OWWA in line with the government’s pursuit to institutionalize a results-oriented budgeting system.

Findings show that the employment and income outcomes of the surveyed EDSP graduates are generally positive. The majority of the scholars (73%) were employed immediately after graduation and most of them (65%) remain employed today. Graduates mostly hold occupations in the Professionals and Technicians and Associate Professionals categories and have dispersed across industries that have seen high demand/positive growth in recent years. These graduates also report incomes higher than average upon employment after graduation and in their current employment, with gross monthly incomes averaging PhP 21,399 (after graduation) and PhP 28,158 (at present) compared with the PhP 11,700 average monthly wage in the country (ILO est. 2012). Surveyed graduates who were not employed reported ongoing schooling (e.g., medical schooling) or reviewing for licensure exams as the main reasons for their non-employment. The positive results of EDSP graduates in terms of employability and income might be due to the high qualification requirements (e.g., grades and exam) for beneficiaries, which means chosen students tend to perform better in class and are highly motivated to succeed. Many beneficiaries enroll in larger and more established higher-education institutions and take-up in-demand courses. Schemes to increase access for students from lower-income families of OFWs may be explored so that these positive outcomes can be extended to those with higher needs for financial support or families who are unable to or find difficult in financing higher education. The dependents of vulnerable migrant workers may also be prioritized.

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Title: Tracer Study of OWWA’s Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP)
: Paulina Kim C. Pacete