Internet-less digital S&T library deployed in Benguet

By Aldwin Quitasol

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet —The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has turned over 14 units of the standalone digital library called “Starbooks” to the province Benguet.

Officials of the Department of Education-Cordillera and local government units of Benguet were on hand to receive 14 units of Starbooks from the DOST

Starbooks, which is an acronym for Science and Technology Academic and Research-Based Openly Operated Kiosk Station, is a standalone facility that does not need Internet connection and can be deployed in geographically-isolated schools and towns throughout the country.

According to DOST Cordillera regional director Victor Mariano, Starbooks will enhance the educational competence of students in the beneficiary schools, especially in the field of science and technology.

Mariano, in his message during the turn-over ceremony at the Benguet Capitol on February 27, said the digital library is suited to the geographical status of Cordillera where many of its communities and schools are located in remote mountainous areas.

Benguet Provincial Science and Technology Director (PSTD) Arnold Inumpa said information on science and technology can now be accessed even without Internet connection.

“This is helpful because some of the municipalities in Benguet have limited access or no Internet connectivity at all,” he said, adding that the contents of Startbooks can be updated regularly.

Inumpa, however, said not all schools in the province can be given Starbooks yet as some of them do not have the computers that are capable of running and storing the S&T content.

DOST Cordillera assistant regional director Nancy Bantog said the contents of the Starbooks include the DOSTkarte livelihood videos, interactive science and match courseware, disaster mitigation, and various science publications.

Bantog said while the DOST had distributed Starbooks software to some schools in the province before, this is the first time that the agency has given out complete sets or units of Starbooks comprising of software and hardware.

The DOST also donated solar panels to the beneficiary schools as a few of them are located in areas where there is no stable electric supply yet.

Aside from the students, Inumpa said the Starbooks units are also expected benefit the local farmers and local government government.

As of now, four Benguet municipalities are already equipped with Starbooks: Bokod, Kabayan, Kapangan and Sablan. He said they hope to bring the digital library to other parts of the province.

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