Nov 17, 2017

Vital new computer skills for hundreds of children

'I can open folders and type fast on the laptops!'
'I can open folders and type fast on the laptops!'

Keyboard skills, word processing, Excel, researching the internet, Google email and games - as 2017 draws to a close, schoolchildren from 17 under-resourced schools in four regions of Ghana listed some of the vital technology skills learnt through the EIFL Hands-on Computer Classes project.

Your support made it possible for us to send US$1,750 to the regional libraries this year, helping them to to teach more children essential practical computer skills. Thank you!

We’re happy to share with you results from two of the four regions served by the project: Upper East and Volta, where mobile libraries travelled to 10 schools, reaching 1,417 children. The library vans were packed with solar-charged laptops, modem internet, screens and projectors. The computers were all loaded with content related to school subjects like geography, mathematics, science and English, as well as practice exam questions and other useful and fun learning tools.

In Volta Region, the mobile library conducted practical skills classes in five schools, reaching 562 children (244 boys and 318 girls). The classes were in such high demand that the mobile library continued to visit schools during the holidays.

“My son Emmanuel is so much excited about the computer classes, and his attendance and punctuality at school have improved. I’ve seen improvement in his ICT grades in class and there is cloud of excitement around him when going to school,” said the guardian of a pupil at Kpenoe Ma Junior High School in Volta Region.

In Upper East Region, the mobile library classes reached 855 children (428 boys and 427 girls) in Grades 1, 2, and 3. The two biggest schools were Gaari Gbani Junior High School, where 286 children attended the library’s classes, and Tedam Junior High School, where the library taught 240 children. “In these schools it’s a challenge. The children are eager to learn and are happy even when sharing the 15 laptops we bring - but ideally, we should have more laptops to improve learning,” said the regional librarian.

Over 430 children in the five schools reached in Upper East Region wrote the 2017 Basic Education Certificate Exam B.E.C.E) - the exam that determines progress to secondary school. They have done well: librarians interviewed 80 B.E.C.E. candidates at Gaari Gbani Junior High School, and all had passed.

Your support has made a huge difference to the futures of hundreds of children. Thank you again, and all the best for the holiday season and the New Year!

'I know I will pass my technology exams.'
'I know I will pass my technology exams.'
Helping unload the computers from the library van.
Helping unload the computers from the library van.
Oct 30, 2017

'I also teach my young sister how to read!'

Junior reader - Dzitsoni Public Library, Kenya.
Junior reader - Dzitsoni Public Library, Kenya.

“I always borrow these books for home reading. I also teach my young sister how to read because the books are easy to understand,” says Mwangata, one of many children who are enjoying the new Swahili story books bought by Dzitsoni Public Library in Kenya.

Your support has made it possible for Dzitsoni Public Library and six other public libraries in Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda to stock their shelves with children’s books in local African languages. The children are loving the new books:

“The Books are written with simple language, and you can read so many stories because of their size,” said Halima.

“I have managed to learn so many new words that have helped me to write compositions,” said George.

Humphrey, librarian at Dzitsoni, says: “We have realized a tremendous increase in the number of junior readers. The teachers have confirmed improvements in the children’s reading and writing, and now want us to stock more books in Swahili.”

Agnes, librarian at Rumuruti Public Library in Kenya, reports that on 8 September over 220 children and parents took part in the library’s International Literacy Day celebration. “We have used the books well to create awareness about the importance of reading,” said Agnes.

From Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, Solomon, the librarian at Kolfe Keryano library, and Tsige, the librarian at Yeka library, say that more parents than ever before have been bringing children for summer holiday reading. While the children are busy with story books, the parents enjoy the history books also bought with your support.

Moyo Public Library in northern Uganda reports that every day after school, and on Saturdays, primary school children run to the library to read the new books. Moyo librarian Christopher says the library has also lent bundles of books to a school that is just too far away for the children to run to the library. “The teachers are so happy! They are still using the books in classes,” he said.

Since January this year, EIFL has disbursed a total of US$3,030 to libraries in Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda to give children the gift of reading.

Reading activity, Dzitsoni Public Library, Kenya.
Reading activity, Dzitsoni Public Library, Kenya.
Aug 22, 2017

EIFL ICT classes the highlight of the kids' week!

Students practising their keyboard skills.
Students practising their keyboard skills.

My name is Alix Halloran and I am GlobalGiving's Field Traveler in West Africa. I spent five months traveling around the region meeting with GlobalGiving's incredible nonprofit partners.  I was so excited for the opportunity to meet the regional librarians in Ghana who implement the EIFL Hands-on computer classes project.

With support from EIFL, the regional librarians use their mobile libraries to reach out to students in four regions of Ghana. During my visit, I got to tag along as the library team in Ho visited schools in the Volta Region. The students at these schools do not have access to computer labs or laptops. This makes preparing for their exams on ICT skills very tough! The mobile library brings the laptops to the kids each week for practical lessons.

I could tell that the ICT lessons are the highlight of the kids' week. All of the kids were eager to tell me everything they're learning to do on the laptops and expressed that they feel much more confident. They know that this will help them with their exams but will also be an important skill for their future careers. The teachers are excited too as they see exam scores improve and ICT theory classes having more of an impact with a practical component.

I am so grateful for all of EIFL's donors for helping their project to succeed. The mobile libraries’ impact in Ghana is very impressive and it would not be possible without your help!

Field trip: Seva, Charles, Me (Alix), and David.
Field trip: Seva, Charles, Me (Alix), and David.
 
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