By: John Maico M. Hernandez, PSTC Batangas
To encourage students read and broaden their knowledge, Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc., (PSFI) in partnership with Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Batangas and National Bookstore Foundation, Inc. (NBSFI), led the implementation of the BOOKS (Building, Organizing and Operating Libraries and Knowledge-Based System) Program in benefit of Ambulong Elementary School (AES), Sept. 02.
DOST Batangas and NBSFI served as PSFI’s partners in the implementation of the BOOKS program. According to PSFI Program Manager, Ms. Olivia Sorio, BOOKS program aims to foster reading habit, instill constant learning to students of AES, and augment the insufficiency of the school in books. Being in the Shell Refinery community, it is very significant to cater the needs of AES and help improve the quality of their education, according to Ms. Sorio.
DOST, being the prime mover of innovations, has made possible the installation of the latest upgraded version of the Science and Technology Academic and Research-Based Openly Operated Kiosks (renamed as SuperSTARBOOKS) which is considered as the Philippine’s First Science Digital Library. It contains thousands of digitized science and technology resources in various formats (text and video/audio) placed in specially designed “pods” set in a user-friendly interface. As a standalone information kiosk, information access is possible even without internet connection. Being a compendium of S&T information gathered from all over the world, it is considered as a one stop S&T information source. Five system units, provided by PSFI, placed in the new AES reading facility were installed with SuperSTARBOOKS 2019.
Orientation-Training on SuperSTARBOOKS was also provided by DOST Batangas in benefit of the teachers and students of the school beneficiary on February 12 of this year. It was during this activity when DOST shared that tons of resources itemized as books, magazines, journals, scientific and research papers, disaster preparedness materials, interactive courseware, and K-12 supplement materials among others are contained in STARBOOKS. Moreover, it also includes full-length livelihood videos from the former Technology Resource Center, scientists’ profiles, DOST publications, Science: Cool Facts, significant dates in Philippine science history and new science articles.
On her message during the inauguration ceremony of the BOOKS program, Ms. Felina C. Malabanan, Provincial Director of DOST Batangas, said that about 3,935 schools across the country already has STARBOOKS as of July 2019. Moreover, to her, STARBOOKS is really suitable to modern-day teaching to help advance the Science and Technology performance of students.
Meanwhile, NBSFI provided 1,000 books to the school beneficiary as part of their Project Aklat and in support to PSFI’s BOOKS program. According to Ms. Bea Torres, Executive Director of NBSFI, they are in pursuit of books donation for almost 14 years now. It was actually NBSFI’s founder’s, Mr. Socorro Ramos, vision to donate books to those who are in need across the country, she mentioned. As referred to their records, they have already donated books to 50 schools in the province.
PSFI Executive Director, Mr. Sebastian Quinones, on the other hand, has mentioned his high hopes that this program would be relevant enough to the students of AES. “PSFI has mastered the art of project implementation and we figure out ways how things are done that’s why we make sure that all our projects give a big impact,” he added.
As the school beneficiary, AES is thankful enough for having been chosen as the recipient of the BOOKS program with DOST SuperSTARBOOKS and NBSFI’s books components. Ms. Darlene Eje, Principal of AES, stressed how these assistances from the three organizations could help their 628 student population. “We are very lucky and blessed to receive this kind of project,” she said in Filipino.