LA TRINIDAD, Benguet, June 18 (PNA) — A level playing field is what the Department of Science and Technology-Cordillera (DOST-CAR) wants in all elementary and high schools in the region.
This, as the DOST-CAR and the Department of Education-Cordillera (DepEd-CAR) signed a memorandum of agreement June 17 further installing and additional 14 Science and Technology Academic and Research-Based Openly Operated Kiosk (STARBOOKS) units to key areas in the Cordillera Administrative Region.
STARBOOK is a single stand-alone computer unit with built-in digital library which can stand as information systems where internet connectivity is weak or lacking.
The technology would allow students, teachers and other interested persons to access information on a wide range of subjects which can normally be retrieved from the internet but are not available in most CAR towns.
Dr. Julius Caesar Sicat, DOST Regional Director, said that the technology would be most beneficial to public elementary and high school students in fourth to sixth class municipalities in the region, most of which have no or limited access to the internet.
“Our studies have shown that in areas where the kiosks were set up, there was a marked increase in the National Achievement Test results of students because now they can retrieve information which would only be available to student s in an urban setting,” Sicat explained.
Since 2012, the DOST-CAR has been distributing STARBOOK units in hard to reach areas in the Cordillera, initially to test their efficacy and efficiency.
Thirty-eight units were initially distributed in the provinces of Abra (one), Apayao (15), Benguet (one), Ifugao (six), Kalinga (four), Mt. Province (11).
The MOA signing Tuesday allowed the distribution of an additional 14 units to be allocated to the seven DepEd school divisions, one for the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd), and six for the provincial science and technology centers (PSTC).
“Each unit costs PHP50,000 including the peripherals,” Sicat added.
“We hope that more units could be distributed in the region, but with our limited budget, it is just not possible,” he said.
However, any school or PSTC can request for installation of the software for free, so long as the school or PSTC can provide the computer where the data will be stored and the cost of the kiosk.
The computer must have at least a terabyte of storage space for the program and its associated databases. (PNA)