St Mary’s Lwak students learning how to read using ebooks
eKitabu started the year 2016 on a high note when the eKitabu team travelled to Bondo. The area is not as scenic as Rift Valley however; it’s hot and beatific in a very earthy kind of way. As you drive, huts made of mud with grass-thatched roofing, people burning charcoal or shoveling sand or women drying millet and sorghum outside their huts run back alongside the road. It is a tableau that totally relaxes you, opens you to a world of stoic, pride, and endurance.
If you happen to drive to Lake Victoria, which you should by the way, you will see how it shimmers and shines when the sun rays hits the water. You will be perplexed how such a place, full of fishermen trading their wares from the lake on canoes, women trotting with baskets on their heads full of fish while a pungent stream of air gushes into your nostrils, can stir so much emotions in you.
Splendid Lake Victoria
St Mary’s Girls High School, Lwak came calling in our eKitabu offices. They wanted to join the digital revolution and have ebooks installed in their computer lab which consisted of 40 computers. Far and wide they had searched and finally found eKitabu to be their preferred content distribution partner- hence the journey of the team to the land of the world’s largest tropical lake. The journey from Nairobi to Bondo took us around seven hours. It was an exciting journey for our team, which comprised of Michael Ngeno (Senior Program Manager), Mercy Musyoki (Marketing Manager) and Mercy Kirui (Publishing Account Manager).
Mercy Kirui, Mr Steve (ICT Head St Mary’s Lwak), Sister Annastasia (Principal St Mary’s Lwak), Will Clurman (eKitabu CEO) and Mercy Musyoki in eKitabu offices(from Left)
On the way to St Mary’s Lwak, the eKitabu team made a stop-over at the Jaramongi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology, where we met the University Librarian, to make introductions about eKitabu services. We had a warm welcome, a hearty conversation and they had a great interest to work with us.
The front of the university
The journey then continued the next day to St Mary’s Lwak. We arrived at St Mary’s Lwak to meet an excited crowd, from the Principal, Sister Annastasia, to the teachers and the students. Our presence signifies a new beginning in to digital age. An age where dreams came true, at a click of a button. Where books seem to talk to you in a splendid kind of way, that makes you wonder. Wonder how and why this technology never came to you earlier than that moment.
The team gets to work immediately and installs the ebooks in the 40 computers amid an eagerly waiting crowd outside. The school is in a state of excitement galore. They cannot wait to start teaching and learning the digital way.
After a couple of hours, the eKitabu team is done with installation, they call in the Principal and the teachers for training. Their faces beam with excitement and there is a pregnant expectation to learn. They are amazed how easy and fast it is to use ebooks for teaching. They wonder through the different ebooks installed in the elibrary. They wonder how so many book titles can be held in one device saving a lot of space and money. They can zoom in and out to get a comfortable font size for their eyes. They can bookmark a book and when they open it again, they are taken to the exact page they left it at. They were amazed to say the least.
Teachers being trained in the computer lab
The next crowd in the computer lab, were student representatives from each class. Amid their training, their awe was written all over their faces. Most swore never to touch a hard copy book again. Learning the digital way was simply interesting and they now enjoyed reading more.
Students being trained in the computer lab
After the training, the team ended the visit in the hall where the whole school had gathered. There was unified celebrations because they finally joined the “Digital Leaders Schools” in Kenya and Africa. They had joined the global village and they now had global competitiveness. They were confident that their performance would improve as learning was now fun, easier, and interactive. Thank you St Mary’s Lwak, it was a pleasure working with you.
Micheal presenting a gift to Sister Annastasia while Mercy Kirui is on the mic
Teachers and students gathering in the hall