news starbooks eyed for pinoy schools overseas1 06152016
DOST-STII Director Richard P. Burgos (foreground) introduces STARBOOKS in the 14th Conference of Philippine Schools Overseas held recently at the Diamond Hotel. Others in photo are Mary Grace A. Tirona , executive director of the Commission on Filipino Overseas (middle) and Prof. Gerson M. Abesamis, consultant of K to 12 Transition Team of the Commission on Higher Education and senior lecturer of College in Education in UP. (Photo by Gerardo de Jesus, S&T Media Service, DOST-STII)

The Science and Technology Academic Research-Based Openly Operated Kiosks (STARBOOKS) is set to step into a new territory as it is now eyed to serve as resource for Filipino schools overseas. This was announced recently in the 14th Conference of Philippine Schools Overseas (PSO) held in Diamond Hotel, Manila.

During said conference, Commission of Filipino Overseas (CFO) Executive Director Mary Grace A. Tirona stressed the needs of children of Filipinos overseas, particularly their reintegration into the Philippine educational system including K to 12 upon their return to the Philippines. STARBOOKS was identified as an important resource that will provide science and technology information materials in the Philippine context.

“There are also children of scientists and engineers abroad who are studying in PSOs,” Department of Science and Technology-Science and Technology Information Institute Director Richard P. Burgos said. “Thus PSOs are also natural breeding ground for future scientists and engineers. It will be beneficial to these kids if they are already exposed to Filipino content through STARBOOKS in Filipino schools overseas.” 

PSOs also provide a venue for the teaching and propagation of Filipino culture and heritage among Filipino youth overseas, and serve as a locus for Filipino community activity as stated in PSO’s mission.

“We want to disseminate as wide as possible our collection,” Dir. Burgos told. “For us, science and technology information must be shared and disseminated. It’s useless if such information will remain in our library. So what we have done is to digitize our collection and now we are able to share the entire collection to the public.”

STARBOOKS, present in 877 areas nationwide (as of April 30, 2016), aims to provide science and technology materials available to the general public including the marginalized populations in remote areas with rare access to information resources, no libraries, and no Internet connectivity while integrating the Fiipino-context information.

news starbooks eyed for pinoy schools overseas2 06152016
STARBOOKS OVERSEAS. Director Richard P. Burgos (right) of DOST-STII and Executive Director  Mary Grace A. Tirona (left) of Commission on Filipino Overseas at the 14th Conference in Philippine Schools Overseas. (Photo by Gerardo de Jesus, S&T Media Service, DOST-STII)

STARBOOKS’s role is parallel with the PSO’s in the aspect of cultivating educational technology while learning the Filipino way. Dir. Burgos revealed in the conference that the content of STARBOOKS is from the DOST-STII’s library collection which includes interactive videos (DOSTkarte), livelihood videos, researches, theses, dissertations, news, and publications. 

He also reiterated the importance of information dissemination during natural disasters. 

“We need to prepare our people for disasters,” he said. “DOST is at the forefront of understanding natural phenomenon brought about by the weather that may impact the safety and security of our people.”

STII also set up aSTARBOOKS exhibit in the said event for the participants to actually explore it.

Other participants in the conference include different publishing companies in the Philippines, national government agencies, and representatives of Filipino schools overseas such as in Hong Kong, China, and Middle East, among others.

Directress Gracia Celia Guieb Nickel of the International Philippine School of Shanghai in China, who came to the event with her German husband Manfred, exclaimed that she finds STARBOOKS “very interesting.” 

“By July, we’ll send one of our teachers to bring you our computer to get the software (STARBOOKS) installed,” Nickel said.

STARBOOKS is a recipient of the Innovative International Library Projects Presidential Citationby theAmerican Library Association(ALA) on June 25, 2015 in San Francisco Public Library, San Francisco, California, USA. ALA is the oldest and largest library association in the world, providing association information and advocacy resources for members, librarians, and library users.

Meanwhile, the conference, themed “K to 12 and the PSO Community, The best is yet to come”, was organized by the CFO in collaboration with the departments of foreign affairs, labor, and education; and the Overseas Worker Welfare Administration. #STARBOOKS #dostPH #libraryinabox

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