Pupils from six primary schools from the Mara region in Narok county have received a Sh100 million digital libraries donation from a 17-year-old American donor.
Speaking when she presented the E-readers to the schools on Monday, the programme co-ordinator Sarah Liaram said the philanthropist, Anna Hall, made the donations as a way of encouraging pupils from Mara access reading materials.
The Kindle e-readers were presented to the benefitting schools at Enkereri primary school in Narok South. They have been loaded with hundreds of Kenyan textbooks in English and Kiswahili, as well as story books for primary school children that have been approved by the Ministry of Education. “The programme is informed by the lack of enough textbooks among pupils in our schools. We are optimistic that this will improve the literacy level in this community,” said Liaram.
The schools include Enkereri, Olopikidongoe, Mararianda, Sekenani, Naroosura, and Kanunga primary schools.
She said the programme, that is jointly sponsored by the Abercrombie and Kent Philanthropy who own the Olonan Sanctuary camp in the famous Maasai Mara game reserve, aims at making education accessible to more schoolgoing children. “Textbooks continue to be more expensive and the only way out for pupils from poor backgrounds is the e-readers. They cannot be torn and are easy to carry from home to school,” said Liaram.
Hall challenged the pupils to utilise the e-readers to excel in their studies. “You are lucky to have received these e-readers and the only way to appreciate is to work extra hard. You are now well equipped to compete with your colleagues in well-equipped schools,” she said.
Liaram revealed that each school will receive 50 kindles, each with 250 books.
“The e-readers are rightly priced to provide learning materials, especially where the need is great — such as in developing countries where learners mostly lack text books,” said Liaram.
Users can access the internet and download thousands of books, newspapers and journals at no cost.
The head teacher of Enkereri Primary School Thomas Tambushi said the e-readers will go a long way in stimulating teaching and learning in the school.
“We are sure that this donation will address the poor pupil-book ratio thereby resulting in improved performance,” said Tambushi.