PUBLIC LIBRARIES CONTRIBUTING TO EDUCATION
Librarians from Kibera Public Library.
Librarians at Kibera Public Library are helping children to learn through the tablet computers project.

Kibera Public Library in Kenya changes the lives of slum school children

“When I see that I have changed the life of a child, I am really happy. I can say that there is an impact in what I am doing,” says Mary Kinyanjui, librarian at Kibera Public Library in Kenya. Kibera is a vast urban slum on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city. It is home to over a million people who live in poverty in shacks made of wood, mud and metal.

Schools are critically under-resourced and children must learn in classrooms that do not have electricity, computers or internet access. Poor education means that children struggle to pass exams; lack of access to technology further disadvantages them in a job-market that increasingly demands computer skills.

improved results in vital school subjects

After a year, the library surveyed students who took part in the programme. Over half of the students interviewed said the programme had helped improve their school results in English, mathematics and science.

By demonstrating the effectiveness of ICT in supporting classroom teaching, the service won recognition, and Kenya National Library Service received a grant from an international non-governmental organization to replicate the project in three more libraries.

 

Many more children now come to the library wanting to use the tablets to access digital educational materials and games. This project has really captivated the interest of children to use their free time constructively in the library.

- Richard Atuti, Director, Kenya National Library Service

FACTS

1

Kenya National Library Service will expand the tablet computers project to include three more libraries.

2

Over 50% of children surveyed in 2013 said the Kibera library project had helped improve their school results.