The New Times (Kigali)

8 December 2012

Rwanda: 80 Mobile Libraries to Be Established Countrywide

At least 80 mobile libraries will be instituted to resolve the issue of lack of reading materials in various parts of the country by 2016, Said Yasin, head of Education Development Centre Inc (EDC) said, yesterday.

EDC is an international non governmental organisation based in the US and currently working alongside Peace Corps - a United States volunteer service organisation as well as Rwanda Education Board (REB) to promote the quality of education in the country.

This is being done through creation of mechanisms through communities and schools get access to quality reading materials. The project dubbed Literacy, Language, and Learning (L3) is being funded by the United States Agency for International Development to the tune of $22million.

"We want children to have access to the books that rhythm with their education level and this will encourage them to enjoy reading that will impact their performance in classes, but also giving the most vulnerable population a chance to read since these community libraries will be open to the public," Yasin said.

He made the remarks during a meeting that brought together stakeholders, to discuss the implementation process as well as the official launch of community based libraries at the national level slated for December 10.

Each library will be stocked with at least 1,200 books in English and Kinyarwanda. The project has already seen libraries established in Kayonza, Ngoma, Ngororero, Nyamagabe and Nyaruguru districts. In these areas, library committees are being constituted to mobilise the community in support of the libraries.

The Director General of Rwanda Education Board, John Rutayisire, called on the public to make good use of the libraries.

He said that promotion of quality of education will translate in to quality education which is the first step towards attaining a knowledge based economy.

"Children or students need to understand the need to learn or acquire education as this will help in encouraging them to read and study hard; something that can easily be done by both the teachers and parents," Rutayisira said.

The launch that will see a mobile library unveiled in Cyuru Sector in Gicumbi District, Northern Province, will be held under the theme "Let's read! A person who doesn't read is like a field left untilled."

Bosco Nshimiyimana, the Cyuru library committee leader, said that the libraries have been stocked with various types of books.

He explained that in addition to students, members of the community are also eager to use the library. He noted that this is an opportunity for parents to be involved in their children's learning.

"Parents must play a role in guiding children to read, and this time, the libraries have been set up in places where they (parents) have easy access," he said.

The mobile library initiative is the latest L3 project's move to promote education after having equipped REB's recording studio to build its capacity in recording audio-visual educational materials for schools. This particular initiative recently received a $75000 boost to further build its effectiveness.

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