Education and nutrition of children have always been at the forefront of various interventions by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) as the department believes that these are important in securing a better future for the next generation.
To fulfill this aspiration, DOST Undersecretary for Regional Operations, Engr. Sancho A. Mabborang and his team, together with DOST-XII officials and staff, went to Sultan Kudarat on 23 August 2022 and visited PC Bayanihan Elementary School (PC BES) where students welcomed the entourage, waving flaglets in their dainty hands.
PC Bayanihan Elementary School (PC BES) is one of the public schools in the Central Isulan District particularly situated in PC Barracks, Isulan, Sultan Kudarat that is populated with 98% Maguindanaon and 2% Christian enrollees who mostly belong to the marginalized families of Purok Masagana 1, 2 and 3 of Barangay Kalawag.
PC BES is one of the units that benefitted from DOST-XII under the leadership of Regional Director Engr. Sammy P. Malawan and the earnest effort of DOST-XII Sultan Kudarat Provincial Director Zenaida Guiano. In fact, PC BES was the first elementary school that enjoyed the all-in-one information pod- STARBOOKS back in the year 2021 with 15 STARBOOKS-ready computer units used by the entire student and faculty.
Three years prior the agency’s extension of aid to PC BES, the school has already been experiencing a decline in its pupil admission brought about by economic adversities of that escalated with the onset of COVID-19 Pandemic. Moreover, with distance learning in place, studying for children became more challenging because most of them do not have computers or equivalent learning devices in order to access information to supplement the modules.
The school library on the other hand contains limited learning resources but with their 15 working desktops installed with DOST software, the traditional library of PC BES was upgraded to a digital S&T library, thus increasing the number of students frequenting the library. The library now has thousands more of educational data, and credible scholarly materials that are made available and easily accessible to students as this stand-alone application can be used even without an internet connection.
The school head, Bebie H. Ambalgan, expressed her utmost gratitude to DOST-XII as they are now enjoying the benefits of STARBOOKS being used by students and teachers as well as school alumni who want to procure validated materials for their S&T related researches. Moreover, Ambalgan speaks of PC BES’ delight for the 600 units of school bags, 600 pieces of Nutribun, 600 pieces of Milk bar donated by Juan Paolo Producers Cooperative and 578 units of school kits donated by Project Bata that were turned over by Usec. Mabborang and the DOST-XII personnel. On top of it all, Usec. Mabborang also pledged a nutrition project that will involve feeding PC BES pupils continually for 120 days.
Filled tummies and enriched minds grow well-nourished and effective children-learners. The DOST believes in creating a competitive pool of human resource with the children who will become assets in nation building and a better future for next generations.