From being a platform for sharing content, STARBOOKS, short for Science and Technology Academic and Research-Based Openly Operated KioskS, has now evolved as a platform for sharing advocacies.
This is how Department of Science and Technology-Science and Technology Information Institute (DOST-STII) Director Richard P. Burgos describes the recent advancement as the agency partners with BPI Foundation, Inc., in its efforts to bring science, technology, and innovation (STI) information to learners in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDAs).
Since its humble inception as the first science library-in-a-box in 2011, STARBOOKS has now thousands of digital resources on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) that are easily retrievable both in its offline and online platforms, as well as various advocacies of its partner institutions, the latest of which is the addition from the BPI Foundation, Inc.
FinEd Unboxed in STARBOOKS
Committed to furthering the advocacy in financial literacy, BPI Foundation, Inc. recently launched in STARBOOKS its FinEd Unboxed.
FinEd Unboxed is a customized financial education program that seeks to improve the financial capability of our everyday heroes, such as the Department of Education (DepEd) teaching and non-teaching personnel, and migrant domestic workers and their families.
Through the program, it is hoped to empower its audiences to become financially responsible by unpacking and simplifying lessons on personal money matters such as saving, budgeting, investing, insurance, retirement planning, and managing credit.
In a simple ceremony held at DOST-STII on 11 April 2023, BPI Foundation, Inc. Executive Director Owen L. Cammayo said that they are grateful for the opportunity to share with DOST-STII the advocacy for financial literacy and wellness.
“We are here today because we see the value and we believe that education is a viable tool for financial wealthness,” he said, adding that the modules are perfect for the students, teachers, and even non-teaching personnel.
BPI Foundation is also currently developing financial education materials for young learners which will not only enrich the learning experience of the students but also equip them with the financial knowledge and skills they need to thrive in the future.
With this, Cammayo also encouraged everyone to not just promote science, technology, engineering, and mathematics but also help encourage financial wellness as well.
In her speech, DOST Undersecretary for Scientific and Technical Services Maridon Sahagun also extended her thanks and gratitude to BPI Foundation, Inc., acknowledging that furthering science and technology causes in the country would go hand-in-hand with the foundation’s advocacy of teaching financial literacy.
“We believe that financial literacy is an important foundation in entrepreneurial skills and that this is truly a promising opportunity as it is important that we arm our learners of financial literacy,” she said.
DepEd to push equity and equality in PH education
Moreover, Department of Education Undersecretary for Administration Michael Kristian R. Ablan, in his speech, congratulated DOST-STII and BPI Foundation, Inc. for the collaboration, and wishes that more partnerships will arise with DOST-STII and other DOST agencies to further promote equity and equality in education in the country.
“Equality is where we provide information to all. Lahat pwedeng makapunta sa STARBOOKS KIOSKS, at lahat pwedeng mag-access ng mga materials. Second is equity, to reach people with no access such as GIDAs. Kailangan walang iwanan,” said Ablan highlighting the mantra of DepEd that no learner should be left behind.
He also congratulated DOST-STII’s STARBOOKS for filling the gap until such time that internet connection can be accessed all throughout the country, and BPI Foundation’s advocacy which he said can help teachers to learn and be able to overcome their financial challenges.
BPI Foundation donates 10 STARBOOKS-enabled computer sets
BPI Foundation, Inc. also sponsored P700,000 worth of STARBOOKS-enabled computer sets, printer, and wifi routers to be donated to ten (10) selected schools and communities in GIDAs.
“Maraming salamat po sa ibinigay ninyo sa amin dahil napakalaking bagay po nito para sa mga mag-aaral at sa mga guro. Hindi na po nila kailangan mag-download pa ng mga kinakailangan para sa kanilang pagtuturo,” said Nieva Tongohan, school head of the elementary school with approximately 185 students.
The rest of the beneficiaries are Lagnas Elementary School, Uguis Integrated School, Legua Integrated School, Magsayap Integrated School, Kinablangan Elementary School, Kitub-bao High School, IP Community of Brgy. Tabon, Busay National High School, and Solangon Elementary School.
by Rosemarie C. Señora, DOST-STII, S&T Media Service