The Department of Science and Technology (DOST), in partnership with United Nations World Food Programme, deployed 15 STARBOOKS units in different public schools and local government units (LGUs) in Maguindanao. Short for Science & Technology Academic and Research-Based Openly Operated Kiosks, STARBOOKS is a digital science and technology (S&T) library developed by DOST-Science and Technology Information Institute (STII) to equip different public schools with valuable learning resources on S&T.
The digital library units were turned over after the signing of Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between DOST-ARMM and the 15 recipients on 01 March 2018 at Cotabato Government Center in Cotobato City.
"A digital learning resource material such as STARBOOKS could improve the way our public schools nurture our students in Maguindanao," said Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao Governor Mujiv Hataman in a statement.
"With tons of information provided by this library in a box, particularly in the fields of Science, Mathematics, and Engineering, our students and teachers in the province will be equipped with additional knowledge on various scientific discoveries and innovative technological products," he added.
The STARBOOKS deployment in Maguindanao is part of the MOA signed between DOST-STII and UN WFP last August 2017 in which UN WFP committed to provide 112 STARBOOKS-enabled computers to nine provinces in the country. These provinces include Benguet, Batangas, Laguna, Sorsogon, Misamis Oriental, Davao Oriental, Cagayan, Maguindanao, and Iloilo.
Recipient municipalities in Maguindanao were Kabuntulan Mother, Buldon, South Upi, and Northern Kabuntulan. Meanwhile, the 11 public schools with newly-installed STARBOOKS were Kabuntulan National High School, Gallego Edgcor National High School, Dinganen Buldon National High School, Karim National High School, South Upi National High School, Pilar Integrated Technical Vocational High School, Looy Integrated Technical Vocational High School, Pandan National High School, Lumao National High School, Gayonga National High School, and Datu Alamanza Dilangalen National High School.
Governor Hataman also said that a product like STARBOOKS could help different areas in Maguindanao to produce their own future engineers, scientists, and innovators who will play crucial roles in bringing inclusive development.
Alan C. Taule, chief of DOST-STII's Information Resources and Analysis Division, stressed that in deploying STARBOOKS, remote areas with no internet connection and limited learning materials have been always the top priority of DOST-STII.
"The support given by UN WFP has provided major boost to DOST-STII's goal of bringing more STARBOOKS units in the countryside," said Taule.
Meanwhile, Taule also recognized the contributions of different DOST regional offices such as ARMM to promote STARBOOKS and gain significant interests from LGUs, educational institutions, and partner organizations.
"With all the success received by STARBOOKS in recent years, our regional deployment officers helped us in many ways to increase the number of STARBOOKS beneficiaries nationwide," said Taule.
As of 02 March 2017, STARBOOKS has been deployed to 2,260 sites nationwide.
STARBOOKS could help improve public schools in different remote areas in the country, says Alan C. Taule, chief of Information Resources and Analysis Division of the Department of Science and Technology- Science and Technology Information Institute (DOST-STII). The Institute developed the STARBOOKS, or the Science & Technology Academic and Research-Based Openly Operated Kiosks, a digital S&T library which can be accessed even without internet connection. DOST-STII and the United Nations World Food Programme (UN WFP) deployed 15 STARBOOKS units in four municipalities and 11 public schools in Maguindanao on 01 March 2018 at the Cotabato Government Center in Cotabato City. (Text and photo by Allan Mauro V. Marfal, DOST-STII)
A teacher from Kabuntulan National High School in Maguindanao explores the features of STARBOOKS during the turnover ceremony held on 01 March 2018 at the Cotabato Government Center in Maguindano (Text and photo by Allan Mauro V. Marfal, DOST-STII)