Kenyan Primary School Ditches Bulky Textbooks For Kindles


kindlesMenara Primary School, a primary school in Muhoroni, Kisumu County, Kenya has ditched bulky textbooks for Kindles in the latest move to make learning interesting, friendly and cheaper for parents who will not have to buy books each new school year.

Organized by the Kindles for Schools Project, a pilot programme started two years ago by Worldreader, and US-based Gordon Family Connect Africa Programme and the Robert Ouko Community Initiatives run by Mrs Christabel Ouko, widow of the late Robert Ouko.

According to the Business Daily, “The project aims to maximise the use of digital technology in the village by providing age-appropriate government specified textbooks in multiple subjects, African and International titles for leisure reading.”

The report adds that each pupil has been given a 3.5GB Kindle containing over 308 titles including storybooks, question-answer revision papers, past papers, dictionary, atlas and various bible versions. The Kindles are 3G Internet-enabled, have simple easy search features for users to easily locate book titles and definitions. The Kindles have a longer battery shelf life for longer use and can also be used as phones as they have phone functions.

The school is reporting high enrollment due to interest from learners to familiarize themselves with the gadgets.  The organizations are planning to roll the Kindles into more primary schools in the country.
Started March 21 last year, over 208 digital books were loaded on 46 e-readers including 37 books by local Kenyan authors and Textbooks for Standard 1- 4, the goal is to use technology and teacher training to create an environment that supports reading and learning. The Kenyan government is also working on introducing tablets for all class one pupils who enroll next year.