Magazine article New Internationalist

Ending the Book Hunger

Magazine article New Internationalist

Ending the Book Hunger

Article excerpt

UGANDA

'Make love with books, be happy forever' reads a sign on the exterior wall of a school in the Mbale district of rural Uganda. Inside, however, there are no books to be seen.

Students in remote rural areas suffer from a chronic lack of printed material. 'Last year, I won a reading competition and my teacher gave me a bible. But I have no other book to read or study at home,' reports one 11-yearold pupil.

'Children have to depend largely on the notes of their class teachers, which is seriously limiting,' explains Ugandan school inspector Margaret Ekwang. 'Children are not exposed to selfteaching through reading. These can be reasons for pupils to drop out.'

But the advent of e-readers offers a chance to end this book hunger. Unlike other technology such as computers, e-readers are accessible to those with no prior IT literacy. They are energy efficient - batteries can last up to two months and there are also solar-powered models. …

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