Poor Children in Remote Village Get Access to Solar-Powered Digital Library

For the first time, pupils of Patong Elementary School use a digital library, giving them access to tons of information on science and technology.

DAVAO ORIENTAL – School kids residing in one of the province’s farthest sitios are now enjoying a new way of learning through a digital library platform called Starbooks.

Turned over by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to Patong Elementary School in Barangay Malibago in Cateel town, the solar-powered Starbooks serves as an offline library with tons of readily accessible, up-to-date information related to science and technology.

Having no electricity and access to the internet, students in this far-flung sitio – situated 33 kilometers away from the town proper – have no other means to learn except from the books and lectures taught in school. Parents and teachers of the recipient school say they are overwhelmed with the delivery of the state-of-the-art tool which they say will open a whole new avenue for kids to learn.

Implemented under the DOST’s Community Enhancement through Science and Technology, giving away of Starbooks to recipient schools aims to give students ‘access to a wealth of science and technology information right at anyone’s fingertips’.

Starbooks contains thousands of digitized science and technology resources in various formats such as text, video and audio placed in specially designed pods set in a user-friendly interface. Its special features are a standalone information kiosk with information access available even without internet connection. It is a compendium of science and technology information gathered from all over the world, making it a one-stop science and technology information source.

Among the highlight features of the Starbooks are videos that aims to stimulate Filipino’s entrepreneurial capacity dubbed “Tamang DOSTkarte Livelihood videos”. It also features science and math interactive course, disaster preparedness and mitigation materials and math and science educational videos.

DOST Provincial Director Sharon Mendoza said that the distribution of Starbooks in schools aims at increasing interest among students to science subjects that would hopefully entice them to enroll on science and technology-related courses. In addition, the Starbooks will encourage young minds to develop ideas and inspire them on entrepreneurship and research.

She added that having access to relevant information is vital in allowing people to break down barriers to knowledge and an important tool for people to lift themselves out of poverty.

Aside from the Starbooks, the DOST also provided one week supply of nutritional foods and ceramic water filters. BY PIO (with reports from Chloe Dacillo and Patricia Guias)

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