By Longtong Ibrahim
Kaduna (Nigeria) – As part of efforts to transform and enhance literacy in northern Nigeria, a Nongovernmental Organization, Hope for the Village Child Foundation (HVCF), in collaboration with Britain-Nigeria Educational Trust Fund (B-Net) has donated E-Readers worth about one million Naira to Primary school pupils in Rimau Gari and surrounding villages in northern Nigeria.
Like other surrounding villages in northern Nigeria, there is a low level of literacy in Rimau Gari village. The E-Reader program targets 5,000 to 10,000 children in the school and surrounding community.
Executive Director of HVCF, Rita Schwazenberger, said the donation was aimed at boosting learning capacities; saying, it could make them become interested in learning to read in a unique way.
She said, the Foundation hoped to improve the pupil’s reading ability and general knowledge – the books include English, Mathematics, and Geography among others which would be increased yearly for at least three years.
The 35 pieces of the device is intended to be used in a class at a particular period. “That quantity was donated due to its delicate nature and for easy maintenance, she noted”
On HVCF’s reach to rural areas, she said, “The Foundation has been providing textbooks – Mathematics, Social Studies, and English; and has reached 201 schools and thousands of children.”
B-Net Director, David Brandler, in a remark said B-Net is aimed at doing many projects in Nigeria to promote education, and their target is reaching schools in rural/public areas not urban/private schools.
Brandler said each of the devices has over 200 textbooks and they cost about one million naira (5,000 US Dollars). He said, Nigeria is a young country that is still growing, and one thing that can help it grow is education – Education is knowledge and knowledge comes through reading.
He explained that, B-Net is a small charity organization based in the UK comprising of Nigerians living there and British people who have connection with Nigeria and has been working for over 40 years in different forms.
“We raise funds to help educational projects in Nigeria. The supply of these E-Readers is a pilot project in the country. If the books downloaded into these devices are those that meet the requirements of the school and children, we hope to do more in other parts of Nigeria.”
Head of Education, HVCF, Babara Marok while explaining the uses of the device, said, B-Net has been partners with the Foundation for nine years and have provided funds to buy text books, aimed at improving children’s learning in rural schools.
She said this year’s support has taken a new turn with the provision of the electronic devices, describing it as a fascinating way for the children to read and experienced – noting that their target is to reach hundreds of children, helping them to discover the joy of reading.
She said, according to B-Net, “world reader is a not for –profit organization with one goal; to make digital books available to all with the help of E-Reader technology. Having an e-reader is like having a library in your hands.”
Nigeria’s former High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and also Vice Patron B-Net, Dalhatu Sarki Tafida in his remark said, B-Net’s impact is felt all over in the country through donations in various capacities – renovating and building schools, scholarship and sponsorship in various schools.
He posited that donation like this is very helpful and needful as Government cannot take care of schools alone.
The Agwon of Adara (Local Chief), Maiwada Galadima in a remark thanked the organization, and said the community is indeed lucky for receiving such gesture from the Foundation stressing that it is important for them to follow the trend of gaining western education.
He pointed out that, it has reduced the stress of parent buying textbooks for their ward and said it is a blessing to their community; he advised the teachers to ensure they teach the pupils properly and the device maintained for the benefit of the younger ones coming up.
Member of the Kaduna State House of Assembly representing Kajuru constituency, Samauel Ubankato Tanko, in a remark said Government is fully ready and prepared to boost the educational through engagement into various programs that could developed the sector.
He commended the initiation of the e-reader device and said it is a welcome development which the government is prepared to engage through collaboration with partners; and called on philanthropist and well meaning individuals to emulate what the foundation has done.
Head master of the school, Joseph Danfari while expressing appreciation over the donation, said he would ensure that the devices are utilized for the benefit of the pupils and community as a whole.