DOST personnel from Agusan del Norte and Technical Support Services, together with partners from Simbalan NHS headed by its School Principal, Mr. Jonchel M. Fran, and representatives from the Department of Education – Agusan del Norte Division, Mr. Bernie R. Pamplona, PDOII/ OIC- LR Manager and Mr. Junel Anino – Librarian III

Simbalan National High School in Buenavista, Agusan del Norte received one (1) computer set installed with DOST’s stand-alone digital library, the Science & Technology Academic and Research-Based Openly Operated Kiosk Station (STARBOOKS).

STARBOOKS installed at Simbalan NHS

It will serve as the school’s main learning platform for digitized S&T resources, in addition to the few available reference materials from the school’s library. Moreover, STARBOOKS will aid teachers in enhancing their learning materials using available modules on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) from the system.

Also known as a “library in a box,” the deployment of STARBOOKS was initiated by the Science and Technology Information Institute (STII) of DOST which aims to provide access to science and technology information for students, teachers, and researchers, especially for schools in remote areas throughout the Philippines.

Ms. Reyjean P. Comaling, IT expert from DOST Caraga conducted actual STARBOOKS orientation to the School Principal and Science Supervisor of Simbalan NHS

Internet connectivity was also provided to Simbalan NHS which shall open opportunities for the school to access unlimited resource materials to be used in the delivery of quality education for its students. It shall further allow them to get connected with the fast relay of communication in the new normal and cope up with the demands of today’s distance learning.

Thru the utilization of different online platforms, teachers and students of Simbalan NHS can now actively participate in the different S&T-related training and other relevant activities which are being conducted online.

Simbalan NHS is located within the heart of Brgy. Simbalan, approximately 40 kilometers from Buenavista’s center of economy. The provision of quality education for the students of the community has been challenged with the absence of access to fast communication, including internet connectivity and telecommunication signal.

The school’s situation was even made more difficult with the COVID 19 crisis which compelled schools to adopt distant learning strategies.

Installation of the wireless internet connection at Simbalan NHS

Students and educators in the barangay were greatly deprived of sufficient educational resources, and with the updated science and technology information to help increase the students’ awareness and interest in S&T education.

This initiative is part of DOST’s implementation of the program, “Community Empowerment thru Science and Technology,” for Brgy. Simbalan, Buenavista, Agusan del Norte.

The interventions provided will significantly contribute to the school’s continued pursuit of providing quality education for the students of Brgy. Simbalan, and to eventually increase the youth’s appreciation of how science, technology, and innovation work for the development of their community.

Personnel from DOST Agusan del Norte conducting actual test-run after the installation of the STARBOOKS

Written by: Margarette Faye Bito & Jomari Tanghal, DOST-Agusan del Norte

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