When we attended the parents day at Nganana primary school, exactly three months after the school benefited from the e-readers project, we heard a grade four boy Emmanuel John reading aloud a story called “Kanuki na Mti wa Matamanio” in Kiswahili from the e-reader. The parents and his fellow students understood the story well and clapped for him after he finished reading. The head teacher of the school, Mr Pallangyo then testified that this boy could not read a complete sentence in Kiswahili before the e-readers came to the school. He was in grade four but still could not read. He went on to say the e-reader kits excited him since they got to the school. He would read stories daily and since then his reading has improved. I believed what I saw and was fulfilled to volunteer onto this project, realizing this huge impact in such a short time.
This is the reality, and indeed the way forward to fight illiteracy in rural schools. The kits have books in our local language, Kiswahili for Mathematics, Science and stories all in Kiswahili. We are indeed privileged to have Worldreader in Tanzania in the secluded rural schools of Nganana and Nambala in Arusha region of Tanzania.
I recall when the project started, it was very painful and frustrating for all Ecolab members to learn the truth about Nganana and Nambala primary schools that a forthcoming generation of kids who up to grade four could not read a sentence properly due to shortage of books at their schools. It did not take a second thought for members volunteer working on this project that the NM-AIST was in partnership with Worldreader. All Ecolab members volunteered their time and skills to launch this project and indeed we did it! Keep up the good work team, we expect more outreach projects from NM-AIST through Ecolab in the near future.