The Fountain of Hope Lubuto Library in Lusaka serves vulnerable children, providing a safe place where orphans can find shelter and support. Librarians read aloud to the children, but they realized that reading aloud, although valuable, would not teach the children to read and write. This realization, coupled with education research that has shown that children who learn to read in mother tongue become more confident learners, led to creation of the OLPC Zambian Language Literacy Programming Project and the launch of LubutoLiteracy.
The innovative PROJECT
With support from EIFL-PLIP in 2010, Lubuto Library Partners brought international expertise, local knowledge and technology together to develop computer programming that would teach children literacy in their own languages. They used the open source software, Etoys, to develop 100 literacy lessons in seven local Zambian languages, and have installed the lessons on One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) computers for use in Lubuto libraries and in schools. The lessons follow the government education curriculum. They are fun, with lively drawings and the children learn through ‘playing’ on the OLPC computers.
EIFL-PLIP PROJECT TIMELINE
May 2010 - April 2011.
achievements and Impact
Vulnerable children are learning literacy skills in mother-tongue through Lubuto Library Partners' computer-based reading lessons in the major Zambian languages. Zambia’s education ministry, through the Zambia Library Service, is partnering with Lubuto Library Partners to extend Lubuto Library Project services in other parts of Zambia.
follow the project's progress
In February 2015, Lubuto Library Partners announced that the mother tongue literacy lessons originally created and piloted with support from EIFL-PLIP were to be handed over to the Zambian Government for distribution across the country.