National Library takes digital learning to the less privileged
The Kenya National Library services have in conjunction with Book Aid International embarked on a program that aims at taking digital learning to the less privileged learners through an outreach program using KIO KIT tablets.
Speaking at the Thika Library during a training for trainers on digital learning, Thika Librarian Miriam Mureithi revealed that a UK based NGO Book Aid International has partnered with them through Open door children and teenagers project to modernize the local Library.
They will provide a friendly reading environment through supply of new books, furniture, computers and most recently 40 portable KIOKIT tablets.
“The KIO KIT devices which are locally designed by BRCK Technology are fitted with a preloaded educational content geared towards enticing disadvantaged youths in the slums and children below the age of 14 to embrace a reading culture as a way of empowering themselves and enlarging their operational space,” She said.
Mureithi noted that the digital component in the project has attracted a lot of attention and that increased usage of the library has been noted in the last 3 years of collaboration.
“Diversification of groups benefiting from the portable devices through the outreach approach has brought on board prisoners from the Thika GK prisons, Joy town special school and youths from the sprawling Kiandutu slums,” revealed Mureithi.
The Librarian pointed out that the decision to take the Kio Kit portable tablets to the disadvantaged youth is informed by the government agenda of equipping and empowering the youth to enhance their literacy skills for individual and community growth.
The Kio Kit black box, which holds 40 portable tablets, 40 headphones a charging system and an information content is worth 600,000 shillings, and was donated by Book Aid International in January last year.
Mureithi pointed out that the kits have tripled the population of library clients, especially youth below the age of 18.
Speaking to press after the training BRCK Technology Operations Officer Angella Mungai said the KIO KITS named after Kiswahili name for mirror ( Kioo) due to its size, has become very popular in East and Central Africa as it is designed with a hardware to suit the African market.
“Kio kit is a digital classroom in a box, designed by local engineers that offers own solutions to suit African education challenges and has embraced interactive story telling sessions”. She revealed.
“The tablets are ruggedized, dust resistant and scratch resistant, and are designed to meet all the local educational challenges. They are also complementing the government funded digital literacy program,” she concluded.
By Lucy Wangai