Testimonies from FAWEU Beneficiaries

Mobile Library

  • Project Location           :       Manafwa District  
  • Financing Institution      :      Book Aid International  
  • Managed by                 :      FAWEU Secretariat

The Ministry of Education and Sports is responsible for many educational functions including prescribing national curricula and providing textbooks to schools through school libraries. The government investment in the school libraries is important since it provides access to reading materials within a familiar context and provides additional reading opportunities for students which in turn improve reading skills, comprehension, and writing and clarity of expression. The biggest challenge however is that the government is not providing all school going children in Uganda with adequate text books leading to a high students-text ratio with lucky ones having to share one textbook for every three. Given this situation it is important for the government and non state actors to take more deliberate action in putting the books in the hands of students in order to achieve quality in education.

If the situation is not addressed to improve the students’ text book ratio, it is unlikely to realize general improvement in reading, comprehension and writing skills among schools located mainly in the rural regions. This would in turn impact on learning and performance in all curriculum subjects. The mobile library project therefore complements government efforts to enhance performance of the currently poor performing students especially in districts like Manafwa.

HOW IT WORKS 

The Mobile Library is defined by a containerized truck fabricated with shelving but easily accessible to the pupils. The library is stocked with about 3,000 books managed by a librarian and a driver. The librarian and driver are managed and supervised by a Program Officer based at FAWEU Secretariat. Also, the FAWEU contact person based in the Eastern region oversees project implementation. The library serves 8 primary schools located in Manafwa district (P1 to 7). The Mobile Library visits each school once every two weeks per term, a total of about 18 visits a year. The service is available to students from a year cohort on a three year cycle i.e. a cohort of students starts to use the library in Primary 1 and uses it for three years to Primary 7, then another cohort of Primary 1 students’ starts. This intervention is targeted towards advocacy to the government of Uganda provides text books to the primary schools.

The contribution by the local community 

Community contribution is very important for the success of any project. For the case of the Mobile Library initiative, community members should contribute towards improving access roads that lead to the schools by filling any potholes using any local materials. They should also ensure security of the truck in the school and on the road. Parents are expected to mobilize each other to support the project.

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