E-Readers in the Classroom

E-READER – KINDLE PROGRAM 

 

The 2015 e-reader launch at Bandawe Girls Secondary School

The 2015 e-reader launch at Bandawe Girls Secondary School. The local TV and Radio stations came to cover the launch and many important representatives from the Ministry of Education and the local community attended. Two years on, the school says it has seen a spike in the number of girls passing their final exams and going on to further education and this can be attributed to the access of much more reading material.

In May, 2013 The Rosemary Pencil Foundation launched the first e-reader initiative in Malawi.   Thanks to the generosity of a single donor, we were able to partner with San Francisco-based Worldreader and provide a girl’s boarding school in southern Malawi with 60 e-readers. Two years later we were able to repeat the initiative supplying e-readers to Bandawe Girls Secondary School.

The e-readers contain a lot of the Malawi secondary school curriculum. This includes Health Sciences, Geography, History, English and Math. Each device also has a dictionary, atlas, other study guides and more than 100 books written by African, American and British authors from well-known classics to recent titles such as President Obama’s autobiography.  The teachers have their own devices with Teachers’ Guides on them.  Not everything that we would like to include on the devices is digitized and available but we are trying to gain access to more of the course books.

Students who attend secondary school in rural areas have an extremely limited access to books. Often the school libraries simply do not have enough good books to read and for these students, for whom English is a second language (they speak the local language at home)  the more reading they can do the better.   

We are grateful to one generous donor who continues to support the e-reader program and has made it part of his mission to invest in education and opportunities for our students.

We conducted an informal survey among the students and teachers to see what they enjoyed most about the devices. The consensus was that having additional books to read for pleasure was a bonus as well as being able to study on the e-reader in their own time.

Students who attend secondary school in these rural areas  have an extremely limited access to books. Often the school libraries in rural areas simply do not have enough good books to read and for these students, for whom English is a second language (they speak the local language at home), the more reading they can do helps them to realize their full potential.   Digital technology lowers the costs and simplifies the delivery of books to our students most of whom rarely get the opportunity to read any book that is not part of the curriculum.

ERGroup

left to right: Symon Chibaka, Program Director of CITW; Alfred Magumbala, Headmaster at the Namalomba Community School, and Gillian Rose, President, The Rosemary Pencil Foundation.

Higher Education and Vocational Training Program

We have a scholarship available to train a former student who wants to become a teacher. This initiative serves two purposes: it is an important incentive for our students wishing to become teachers to excel academically and apply for the scholarship while helping to alleviate Malawi’s desperate shortage of good teachers.