E-Book Love at Our Newest School in Uganda
It’s been a busy few weeks for Worldreader. We’ve been expanding our reach in several countries, including Kenya, Malawi and Uganda.
Today, we welcome the Bubaare Senior Secondary School in Kampala, Uganda into the Worldreader family. The school started in 1983 as private secondary school founded by the Church of Uganda’s Diocese of Kigezi, with a handful of students, and later became a government-aided school, which earned it A-Level status.
Now, with the support of Grace Episcopal Church, a new e-reader program will directly engage 160 students in Senior 5 and Senior 6 classes. Fifty Kindles, which will also more broadly serve the school of 1,050 students, have been loaded up with a total of 5,000 culturally-relevant digital storybooks, reference information and other reading material we hope will pave the wave for a brighter future. Let the e-reading fun begin!
Worldreader’s Fatos Berisha and Sharon Langevin were there to help with the launch. Here’s a snapshot of how it went.
Our journey started in Kampala where Jimmy, the head-teacher of the Bubaare Senior Secondary School, and his former student who we nicknamed Jimmy Junior picked us up. Jimmy Junior is now a banker in Kampala, which says a lot about Jimmy Senior’s abilities as an educator. Our eight-hour mini safari across Uganda brought us to Kabale, a town just 80 kilometers from the Rwandan border.
Jimmy Senior gave us a tour of his office then introduced us to Morris and Innocent, the project managers of the e-reader project. Before the training began, Morris took us on a tour of the school. We visited a few classes, the computer lab, the library, the baby goat shack and the communal gardens where students are taught to grow a variety of produce. It was a very beautiful campus on top of a hill overlooking a landscape of green hills and fertile fields. Jimmy, the head teacher, has done an incredible job managing the school of 1,050 bright students.
At the project manager training, we noticed that Morris wasn’t taking any notes. This worried us a little, but when it was time to present, Morris repeated every single e-reader function in detail!
The project manager training was followed by the teacher and student trainings, where about 40 teachers and 160 students were trained. When asked how many books they thought an e-reader could hold, a student replied, “Countless.” That caused the entire class and us to burst out laughing. It’s an interesting answer that does hold some truth.
The launch ceremony came after three days of e-reader training. Students entertained us with singing and tribal dancing (Sharon also showed off some skills, and inspired an older priest to join in) and Jimmy and other officials gave moving speeches. Everyone showed immense appreciation for these e-readers that they saw would educate their next leaders and brighten their future.
Everyone was so nice and hospitable. They made sure we each had a mountain of food at the launch ceremony. We left happy with a mild food coma.
Big thanks to Grace Episcopal Church for sponsoring this school with such high potential!