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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Over 1,000 Public Libraries to Expand Services Via Tech4ED Project


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The Department of Science and Technology–Information and Communications Technology Office (DOST-ICT Office) and the National Library of the Philippines (NLP) forged a partnership to implement the Tech4ED project in over 1,000 public libraries towards community empowerment.

Led by the DOST-ICT Office, the Technology for Economic Development (Tech4ED) project establishes centers in rural and underserved areas to expand access to ICT services, learning resources, and opportunities for entrepreneurship and employment.

The photo above shows the Department of Science and Technology–Information and Communications Technology Office (DOST-ICT Office) and the National Library of the Philippines signing of the Memorandum of Agreement led by Blesila Velasco, Chief of the Public Libraries Division, NLP and Bettina Quimson, Deputy Executive Director for eSociety, DOST-ICT Office. Joining them were (standing from left): Jilven Amar, Librarian III, NLP; Clarissa Navarro, Tech4ED Project Manager; Irma Saligumba, Molave Development Foundation, Inc., and Program Manager, Beyond Access Phillipines; and Michael Pinto and Roilingel Calilung, Vice President and President of the Association of Librarians in Public Sector (ALPS), respectively.

The establishment of Tech4ED Centers in over 1,000 public libraries affiliated with the NLP will be a breakthrough in addressing digital inclusion. “We aim to make our public libraries more relevant to the community and further increase their utilization. With Tech4ED in our libraries, we can bring the benefits of ICT to more Filipinos,” said Jilven Amar, Librarian III of the NLP.

“Tech4ED is about creating equal opportunities for everybody,” said Bettina Quimson, Deputy Executive Director for eSociety, DOST-ICT Office. “Librarians are very essential in enabling a person to be trained on special skill sets toward employment and entrepreneurship,” Quimson said. “If the public library has at least three computers and Internet connectivity, we will work with them immediately to set up the Tech4ED platform.”

Taking public libraries to the next level. The National Library of the Philippines (NLP) teams up with the Information and Communications Technology Office of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-ICT Office). From left: Clarissa Navarro, Tech4ED Program Manager; Blesila Velasco, Chief of the Public Libraries Division and Jilven Amar, Librarian III NLP; and Bettina Quimson, Deputy Executive Director of eSociety, DOST-ICT Office.
 Key services under Tech4ED are eGovServ for government transactions such as applications for birth certificate, driver’s license and clearance from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), among others; eEduSkills for learning on demand, including the Alternative Learning System and courses under the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA); and eAssist, which aims to enhance digital and financial literacy.

The NLP is optimistic that Tech4ED will make public libraries more responsive to the needs of different sectors. “The Tech4ED platform offers very useful content like the Alternative Learning System (ALS) via eEduSkills, as well as easy access to government services under eGovServ,” Amar said. He added that the NLP will contribute digitized materials to the Tech4ED project.

Bettina Quimson, Deputy Executive Director of eSociety, DOST-ICT Office, provides an overview of the Tech4ED Project and the role of public libraries in empowering communities nationwide.
“This is a long-awaited partnership, and it’s happening now,” said Blesila Velasco, Chief of the Public Libraries Division, NLP. “This project is really innovative, collaborative, relevant and citizen-centric. Every member of the community will benefit.”

The partnership was announced during the National Conference of Public Librarians organized by the NLP in partnership with the Association of Librarians in Public Sector, Inc. (ALPS, Inc.) and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) through the National Committee on Library and Information Services.

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