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Published on: December 14, 2020

Project Kajo brings science and education closer to the people through the eight (8) units of computer units installed with Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) Science and Technology Academic Research-based Openly Operated Kiosks Station (STARBOOKS) software and other offline educational resources were deployed to all barangays of Atok on December 4, 2020 at the Municipal gym, Sayangan and Barangay Hall of Naguey, Atok, Benguet, respectively.

The project Kajo (and Ibaloi term for care) was initiated by the Cordillera Career Development College (CCDC) in partnership with the DOST-CAR through its Provincial Science and Technology (PSTC) in Benguet, Philippine Librarian Associations Incorporated in CAR Librarians Council (PLAI-CARLC), and the Municipal Local Government of Atok.

It benefitted the students, out of school youth, and all interested individuals in the community to learn, especially during this time of COVID-19 pandemic where going to school libraries and internet connection are among some of the challenges being faced by the learners.

The CCDC led donation drive to procure the computer units as well as various learning materials while the PLAI-CARLC provided offline resources and printed educational materials. The DOST-CAR installed the STARBOOKS, an offline S&T information resource and the Local Government Unit of Atok pushed and coordinated the establishment of learning hubs in the barangay level.

A memorandum of agreement was signed by all the said partners with the officials of the eight (8) barangays of Atok to solidify the project meant to establish said learning hubs in all barangays of the municipality.

"Through the partnership of all the stakeholders, the jigsaw puzzle was completed" DOST-CAR Director Nancy Bantog said in her message.

Dr. Bantog elaborated that each partner has contributed its piece to make the project complete, where the "framing" of the work now lies in the Barangay Local Government Units to reach the learners and fully maximize the resources provided.

Through the initiative of CCDC, there were various donors here and abroad, who donated to raise the needed funds for the computer units as well as printed learning materials.

"During this pandemic, we need to help and care for each other in facing our struggles. And one of our struggles is education. Let us not allow our children to be left behind”, said Dr. Sherry Junette Malaya-Tagle, CCDC President.

Meanwhile, a users' orientation and training on STARBOOKS were conducted by PSTC Benguet Provincial S&T Director Sheila Marie Singa-Claver and Mr. Rey Teofilo of DOST-CAR after the turn-over Ceremony.

With these, the Mayor of Atok, Hon. Raymundo Sarac and the barangay officials of the eight barangays also extended their gratitude for the collaborative project of CCDC, DOST-CAR and PLAI-CARC as well as the generosity of all donors.