A Teacher’s Tale: How Hope Arrived in the Shape of an E-reader

August 29, 2013 By

Mohammed Aminu sees e-readers and e-books as important tools in his classroom.

Mohammed Aminu sees e-readers and e-books as important tools in his classroom.

We often see how providing access to e-books in schools is impacting children. Kindles and digital books are turning kids into avid readers and giving them the knowledge they need to change their lives.

But, kids are not the only ones benefitting from our programs. Teachers also understand how simple technology, like an e-reader, can improve their classroom’s learning environment and create educational advantages for their students. They are, in fact, among Worldreader’s strongest mobile reading advocates.

With summer vacation coming to an end in the U.S., Africa and elsewhere, this story from Mohammed Aminu, a teacher at Adeiso Presbyterian Junior High School in Eastern Ghana, is good way to ring in the new school year.

Mohammed is an inspiration to all of us to keep the reading revolution moving forward–one classroom at a time.

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It is the wish of every teacher to produce students who can stand up tall any time they come into contact with other students from other areas, and to help bring forth productive people for the future of Ghana. ~ Mohammed Aminu

As a teacher, a language teacher to be precise, in a rural area, I have always loved to read something new in order to teach something new to my pupils. I have a dream of teaching every child how to read with proficiency and tact, and to help my pupils cultivate the habit of reading and appreciate nature through reading.

With all these ambitions of mine, there is a lot to do in order to reach the heights I have set for myself.

But, one major problem is the lack of textbooks for pupils to use any time we have language studies. And the few available books are not enough to be used by the huge population of the school. Some pages are torn. Some books are damaged because of the to-and-fro movement of the books to the office on daily basis (the books are always kept in the office), or from the students’ mishandling, which is largely due to the scramble to get a book every time they are brought into the classroom.

In the the rural area where I teach, there is no public community library. The only library in the community belongs to the senior high school, which is not accessible after school hours or during weekends. You cannot borrow a book not even for a single day, never mind for a week or two.

Last but not least, most of the parents in the community are peasant farmers who cannot afford to buy textbooks and any other supplementary books for their children. The economic burden already on their shoulders is already great, and many lack an understanding of why education matters.

Thankfully, Worldreader with its  “Books for all” mission came to our aid. They put a library in our hands, a mobile library, a library which parents, community and various governments, could not afford for the betterment of the education of the Ghanaian child. I’m talking about the e-reader, which I prefer to call  “the savior.”

The e-reader has helped alleviate the burden of parents, teachers, the community and the government.

With this device, I am able to organize and prepare my lesson notes without any difficulties. I also teach with less stress. I now consider reading and comprehension lessons a form of leisure activity because everyone has access to the same book at the same time. And, now that everybody has an e-reader, there is no scrambling for books, reading is full of fun, and homework can be given at any time, something that couldn’t be done before because the books were not allowed to be taken home. Also, we don’t have to wait on the government for books. All our worries are gone.

I would like to say a big thank you to the Worldreader team all over the world, especially David, Zev, Colin, Elizabeth, Tina, Joseph, Michael and Samuel for coming to our aid.

To the donors, I say thank you very much. May you never lack in any way.

I wish to say here that, like Oliver Twist, we want more to serve the rest of the communities and mother Ghana.

Mohammed Aminu, a teacher at Adeiso Presbyterian Junior High School, talks with Worldreader's Zev Lowe.

Mohammed Aminu, a teacher at Adeiso Presbyterian Junior High School, talks with Worldreader’s Zev Lowe.