Mar 13, 2018

Hands-on computer classes are in high demand!

Hands-on computer classes in Volta Region.
Hands-on computer classes in Volta Region.

The mobile library Hands-on Computer Classes are in high demand this year, following excellent results in the 2017 Basic Education Certificate Examination (B.E.C.E.) in which 81% of children at 17 schools passed their ICT exam.

Once again, thank you to everyone who has supported the Hands-on Computer Classes project - from the children and their parents, the teachers, the libraries and EIFL!

With your support, mobile libraries in four regions of Ghana are taking solar-charged laptop computers and modem internet connections to under-resourced schools in poor and rural areas to give children practical experience of digital technology. The computers are pre-loaded with e-books and other material related to the school curriculum - vital e-resources for schoolchildren who have very few textbooks.

The four regions are Ashanti, Upper East, Volta and Western. This year, the libraries are reaching over 2,000 children at 18 schools in grades 1, 2 and 3. For grade 3, the libraries’ classes are especially important, because at the end of grade 3 children write the B.E.C.E., which determines progress to secondary school. Children who complete secondary school can enter further education, improving their chances in life. For children in grades 1 and 2, the classes are valuable building blocks for the future.

Because the schools are rural and the roads are rough, the library vans have taken a battering. But the librarians are up to the challenge! In Upper East Region, the head of the Regional Library reports that they are using the library’s pick-up truck while the van is out of action so that the children do not miss classes. "We are still taking the laptops to schools. We will get our library van back up and running soon," he said.

In Volta Region, the situation is similar. Despite difficulties maintaining the van, the library is visiting six junior high schools. The teachers and children are really happy. “The mobile library service has reshaped the quality of teaching and learning by tackling the practical aspect of learning which has been a long standing problem,” an enthusiastic teacher told the Volta Regional Library.

Ashanti regional librarians with the EIFL team.
Ashanti regional librarians with the EIFL team.
Computer class in Ashanti Region.
Computer class in Ashanti Region.
Jan 26, 2018

'I will learn about our traditions and culture'

Nambi Sseppuuya mobile library arrives at school.
Nambi Sseppuuya mobile library arrives at school.

“I am from Igome village in Jinja district in Uganda. I am now aged 15. I started using this library when I was eight years old and it has helped me to develop my reading skills as well as writing. Now I am going to Senior Three this year, 2018.

“I am happy to hear that our library is to receive funds from EIFL to buy new story books. I will always read the interesting stories in these books and learn about our traditional proverbs, culture, and language. I will also use these books to research on different aspects of the past and then relate them to the present situations.”

Rose (not her real name) is a regular user of Nambi Sseppuuya Community Resource Centre in Buwenga sub-county in Jinja District, Uganda. With your support, we have raised about US$400 that the library will use to buy over 100 new children’s books written by local authors, in local languages.

“When I heard that we could choose the books ourselves, I was so happy,” said the librarian. “We receive books from abroad and these are very important. But we do not have many books that are locally written, in our languages, that refer to local culture and places, with local names that the children can recognize.”

In keeping with the library’s mission, which is to fight poverty and disease through education, the librarians are ordering story books that will encourage reading and build literacy skills, as well as lively, well-illustrated books about nutrition and hygiene. “The books will be read by the children and their parents,” said the delighted librarian.

This will be our last disbursement for this project. Since January 2017, your support has made it possible for public libraries serving rural communities in Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda to buy 2,000 children’s books in Amharic, KiSwahili, Acholi and Ateso, as well as English. The project has achieved its goals – stocking public library shelves with new story books by local authors and giving thousands of children in the gift of reading.

Thank you for your support – from the children, their parents and the librarians.

We will not be raising funds for this project any more, but we do have another exciting project in Ghana, where we are supporting mobile public libraries to take computers and internet connections to under-resourced schools to help children pass crucial exams. The project is achieving remarkable results – find out more here! And stay in touch with EIFL through Facebook and Twitter - @EIFLnet.

 

The library's children's section is always busy.
The library's children's section is always busy.
Books by bike - the library arrives at a village.
Books by bike - the library arrives at a village.
Dec 14, 2017

Top marks for our mobile library students!

Sharing and caring - girls prepare for exams.
Sharing and caring - girls prepare for exams.

We are delighted to share with you the excellent exam results for hundreds of children who learnt practical computer skills through the Hands on computer classes project.

This year, 81% of children at 17 under-resourced schools in Ghana passed the information and communication technology (ICT) exam at Basic Education Certificate Exam (B.E.C.E.) level.

The B.E.C.E. exam is crucial because it is the exam that determines entry to secondary school. Children from poor families who fail the B.E.C.E. often drop out and face uncertain futures because their parents cannot afford to keep them in school.

In 2015, the first year of the project, 45% of the children at schools that took part in the project passed the ICT exam. The sharp increase to 81% this year is a tribute to your support, and to three years of hard work by mobile librarians in four regions - Ashanti, Upper East, Western and Volta.

With your donations, librarians travel to poor and rural schools every week in library vans packed with solar-charged laptops, modem internet, screens and projectors. The computers are pre-loaded with content related to school subjects like geography, mathematics, science and English. At the schools, the librarians and teachers conduct practical computer skills classes for the children, many of whom had never seen or touched a computer before the project began.

This year, the mobile libraries taught over 3,000 children (1,732 boys and 1,404 girls) in grades 1, 2 and 3. The children, parents and teachers are overjoyed with the exam results.

“The mobile library service has reshaped the quality of teaching and learning at our school by tackling the practical aspect of learning which has been a longstanding problem,” said a teacher at Kpenoe M.A. Junior High School in Volta Region.

On behalf of the children, their parents, the teachers, and the librarians - thank you for your support! EIFL wishes you the very best for the holiday season and for 2018.

 

The teachers and librarians who worked together.
The teachers and librarians who worked together.
Hands-on! The laptops helped the children pass.
Hands-on! The laptops helped the children pass.
 
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