ARMM schools given access to digital library
COTABATO CITY, Philippines — Research will now be easier for thousands of students in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao following the establishment of free digital libraries in their schools. Two schools in Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur already have such libraries.
The ARMM government is providing high schools in the region with “Science and Technology Academic and Research-Based Openly Operated Kiosk Station,” also known as Starbooks.
Described as the “library in a box,” Starbooks, the latest project of the ARMM’s Department of Science and Technology, is a stand-alone research kiosk and a system designed especially for students who do in-depth research on science and technology resources, ARMM Science and Technology Secretary Myra Alih told reporters here over the weekend.
The endeavor is unique to the five-province region, she said.
“In the country, only the ARMM government provides Starbooks kiosks to the different schools for free,” Alih said.
“What makes the Starbooks unique and more useful is that people can access data needed even without Internet connection,” she added.
On Friday last week, the regional DOST office turned over to the region’s Department of Education a “complete package of the science digital library” for the ARMM Regional Science High School (RSHS) in Parang, Maguindanao.
Earlier, the DOST provided a similar package to the Racma Maniri Pimping National High School in Marawi City.
“We are very glad that our school is one of the recipients of this science digital library; now we know we can compete with confidence with other schools in the country,” said Mike Castillon, a Grade-9 student at the ARMM-RSHS, said.
Myrna Lidasan, the school’s principal, lauded the ARMM efforts, describing the library as unprecedented.
“Now we really feel the presence of the ARMM government. We know this will bring more opportunities to our students and help them learn easier and faster,” she added. “With this library, our students will be at par with other schools in terms of educational aides.”
Jamar Kulayan, ARMM education secretary, said the regional government, in partnership with the Australian Basic Education Assistance for Muslim Mindanao (Beam), will also be turning over laboratory equipment for physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics to the RSHS within the month.
The ARMM RSHS is regarded as a center of excellence in science and mathematics in the region and is the only school in ARMM that provides a subject on robotics.
The ARMM said all high schools in the region will be provided Starbooks but the announcement gave no timetable.
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