Worldreader post encouraging article on spread of ereading in Ghana:
In a new post on their blog, Worldreader tell us a bit about how the Kindle ereaders they have given to some 400 kids in a small Ghanaian town school have been taken up and used by these kids, their friends and families.
George in Booth
This article shows exactly how correct the plans of Worldreader are, as you will see when you read the article below. Obviously ereaders, particularly ones which are independent of computers, and use the mobile phone networks to obtain ebooks, such as the Kindle ereader, the model that Worldreader have decided to use in this pilot project, are exactly the right device to spread literacy in the developing world.
Personally I found this article to be extremely heart warming and encouraging, as access to books is so important in developing people’s minds and thinking, and ereaders of this type make this possible. As I know from personal observation in a number of under developed places, access to paper books is almost non-existent, so this project is immensely important in my view, and I hope will spread all over the underdeveloped world very rapidly…. Which looks like happening, I am happy to say.
As you may know, Worldreader is an NGO with as its mission the intention to place ereaders in the hands of every child in the world who lives in an underdeveloped country. This is sort of paraphrasing their intentions, but covers the main aim pretty well.
Anyhow, for this current school year, they have a project running in a couple of rural schools in Ghana, in which they have given (please note the word “given”, they are not lent to the kids) about 500 kids his or her own Kindle ereader, which so far is proving to be a complete success in every way. To learn more about this, either type “worldreader” into the search box top right of your screen to be taken to the fairly numerous posts I have written on this wonderful bunch of people, or go direct to their site (link below) and read all about it there.
But, the point of this post is to report that the Kenyan Ministry of Education have agreed to support a similar project in Kenya…… So shortly a lucky bunch of Kenyan kids will find themselves the proud owners of their own Kindles…….
This interest on the part of the Kenyan government is the result of a pilot scheme that Worldreader have been carrying out already (The Kilgoris Project’s Intimigom School).
The picture here is of kids at this Kenyan school having their Kindle ereaders explained to them.
As Worldreader put it on their blog:
Now we have the official backing of the Kenyan Government who want to follow our work to evaluate if it can be scaled up across the country. As we often yell in our office: Yeeeeee-Haw!
For us, this is a really big deal. Almost exactly one year ago today, we received authorization from Ghana’s Minstry of Education to expand our work there; now we’re working with 500 students and teachers there, and we expect to expand that dramatically next school year. Now Kenya is on the same track, building on our success in Ghana and permitting us to work in partnership with both private organizations and forward-thinking governments. That’s a wonderful recipe for success.
Worldreader has released a new video showing the impact of Kindle ereaders on the kids:
In a charming video, Worldreader give us the feelings of two Ghanaian kids about their shiny new ereaders, which demonstrate how successful the idea is. Both these kids now have access to the entire world of books, and are obviously over the moon about it, and fully grasp the possibilities that their Kindles are offering them.
What you will see in this video are two kids, one, Deborah Tetteh, a student at Kade Junior High School, who within two days of receiving her Kindle is fully at home with it, using it both at school and at home – as Worldreader intended. Further, she sees that it will help her to attain her ambition to become a doctor in due time.
The other kid in the video – Gideon Okyere Darkwa, has a very different ambition, he intends to become a professional football player, and sees that the Kindle will be an invaluable help in mastering the English language, which he considers to be essential for him and his dream.
What I think this video demonstrates is that kids, no matter what their dreams and ambitions might be, can find real advantages in the easy and broad access to books that this technology offers them. The point being, that without ereaders, there is almost no way in which kids living in such places can get hold of books – too expensive and simply not available where they live.
The Kindle has changed all of this totally.
Once people have access to this simple technology, whole worlds of possibility will open up for them… Literacy is probably one of the most important treasures and gifts that the world can offer us, and for people in underdeveloped countries, who are denied access to books, this technology is obviously the answer. This has now been demonstrated very forcibly by this pilot project in Ghana, and will shortly be followed by their second operation – the same idea, but in Kenya
So, sit back and watch these two kids talking about how Kindle ereaders are effecting them and their hopes.
If you want to support the work of this bunch of totally grounded and pragmatic folk, nip along to their website and find out how you too can help bring literacy to the greater part of the world.
World Reader’s blog has some letters written by Ghanaian kids who are using Kindles.
In the latest post on the World Reader Blog, a number of letters are quoted written by some of the kids who have been given Kindle ereaders as part of the iRead project that World Reader are currently running in a rural school in Ghana.
Obviously the best thing for you to do is to go to the blog and read all about it there, but to give you a taste of it, I shall quote a couple of the letters here.
These letters are remarkable for a number of reasons I feel, not least being the wonderful use of language these kids demonstrate in their letters – apparently World Reader have received about 400 of these letters, so they are obviously written by the kids as a project in their school – but none the worse for that.
The wonders of ereaders – A Maasai Teacher finds a book he has wanted all his life – for free too!
There is a very touching and instructive post on the World Reader blog today about a Maasai Headmaster who has found a book on education he has wanted for most of his adult life.
Shadrack Lemiso is the headmaster of Intimigom Nursery and Primary School, just outside of Kilgoris in Kenya, and Susan Moody of World Reader met with him the other day as part of their exploratory talks in Kenya with a view to setting up a similar project in Kenya as the one they are currently running in Ghana.
In the course of their talk, Susan showed him a Kindle (and perhaps gave it to him, I am not sure about this) and explained to him how it worked, and what you could do with it. He was apparently fascinated, and asked her if a book he had always wanted, but could never find while he was a student, learning to be a teacher might be available..
Obviously given the vast number of ebooks that Amazon offer, she hadn’t a clue, but none the less, they set about hunting via the Kindle on the Kindle store, and lo and behold, there was the book, and not only that, but as it was out of copyright, it was free as well!
This must have been the best and most persuasive argument Susan could have made to convince one man at least of the benefits of ereaders!
In her post Susan recounts the huge struggle that Shadrack Lemiso had to go through in order to become a teacher, it makes fascinating reading, and demonstrates the importance that vast numbers of people in the poorer places of our world place on getting an education. Read full story »
Susan Moody of World Reader has sent me some some teachers’ and kids’ thoughts and facts about the kindles in the school – and a video:
As you will know, if you have been following my posts on the project (links to earlier posts below) World Reader are currently field testing their project in a rural school in Ghana – in which they have given some 400 kids their own Kindle 3 ereaders – and things seem to be moving along rather well.
There were numerous problems at first, not the least being the unhappiness of the kids who were not included in this test, who understandably felt that they had been left to one side and resented this – and who could blame them?
But the good people of World Reader have taken these problems in their stride and are going great guns it seems, and so far all their findings are showing that the experiment is proving to be a great success.
Obviously they are continuously assessing what is happening, as the long term plan is to get ereaders into schools all over the Third World, so this trial is obviously of immense importance to them to see if it is a viable idea….. or not.
Susan gave me a few bits of information I want to share with you here, which appear to indicate that the kids, the teachers and perhaps almost more importantly, their community, have really taken to their ereaders with a vengeance, I am happy to say.