Kenya National Library Service

Impact Assessment Results

Library tablet computers help slum school children

PLIP grantee: Kenya National Library Service

Impact study results, May 2013:
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Kenya National Library Service uses internet-connected tablet computers pre-loaded with educational content linked to the national education curriculum to help children living in Kibera, the largest sum in East Africa and home to over a million people, improve their school results.

Working through Kibera Public Library, and in partnership with the educational agency, eLimu, Kenya National Library Service taught 120 children to use the tablet computers, to research the internet and to access the educational material.

The programme was one of 13 public and community library services funded by EIFL-PLIP in Ghana, Kenya and Uganda in 2012.

Here we present results of impact assessment conducted by the library in May 2013.

Previous project updates:

Library uses ICT to help slum youth improve school marks

Background to the Kibera ICT for Youth Development Service

School drop-out and failure rates in Nairobi’s slums are high, and thousands of disadvantaged young people face bleak futures. Although public and community libraries serving slums have desperately needed resources for school education, a study into perceptions of public libraries in Kenya found that the majority of library users in Kenya are middle class students aged between 21 and 30. Kenya National Library Service’s new service aims reach out to youth living in Kibera, Nairobi’s largest slum, to improve their marks at school and increase their interest in and use of libraries.

The service
The service is based in Kibera Community Library in Kibera, where about a quarter of a million people live. It uses tablet computers and a monthly Game Show to attract disadvantaged youth to the library.
Young people will have free access to 10 internet-connected tablet computers during library opening hours. The tablet computers will be loaded with educational content that is linked to the school curriculum, especially the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exams, which determine whether young people are admitted to secondary school. Every month, Kibera Community Library will host a Game Show to check users’ knowledge of school subjects. In addition to curriculum content, the tablets will be loaded with information aimed at promoting understanding of citizenship, including participation in democratic processes, human rights and protecting the environment.

Working together
KNLS’s main partner is eLimu, an educational agency based in Nairobi. eLimu has developed the tablet and uploaded content with the aim of improving the quality of education and citizenship. eLimu will provide the computers, support hosting of the game shows and receive, analyse and respond to feedback from the learners.

Replicating success
The services was inspired by Ghana Northern Regional Library’s Internet Access and Training Programme, which builds young people’s leadership and ICT skills, and promotes the use of ICT for development through a monthly public lecture and discussion forum.

For further information, contact – 

Ms Mary Kinyanjui

Kenya National Library Service

P.O. Box 30573

Nairobi 00100