Device to access books electronically introduced in Ghana

A device to give students in public schools access to books electronically has been introduced in Ghana.

The device called “Amazon Kindle” is a phone-like device, which can be used to store up to 3,500 books electronically and give Ghanaian publishers an opportunity to reach wider audience., a non profit organisation, whose goal is to make digital books available to all students in the developing world, with the help of e-reader technology, is collaborating with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Ministry of Education to facilitate the programme.

Mr Collins McElwee, an official of said the E-reader programme, when fully implemented, would increase the number, variety of books and other supplementary reading materials, improve student performance on standardised test of reading, writing and English proficiency, as well as reduced waiting periods for classroom learning materials.

He commended efforts of Ghanaian publishers like EPP, Afram, Sam Woode, Woeli, Smartline and SEDCO, since they had made their books available for free downloads by students.

So far the project, which had cost about $900, had been implemented on pilot basis in six schools, with over 500 students and 35,528 books, made up of local textbooks, local story books and international story books.

Mr McElwee said there was a research and monitoring programme in place to assess its impact on students and pointed out that the programme would be rolled out on larger basis when the unit cost of the device was reduced.

“The Kindle puts a whole library in the hands of a child,” he said, and noted that, the device works anywhere a mobile network can work in Ghana or anywhere one can receive a call.

He noted that Ghana was the first developing country to use the device that would enable reading shift from supply constraints to demand based.

Source: GNA

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