Lack of books or other reading materials is a common problem for most African countries. Ethiopia is not exception in this regard. What is more, inadequate internet infrastructural provision or service interruption as well is hindrance to access reading materials in most African countries.
However, thanks to the development of digitized theologies, few African countries are using offline tablets to bridge the rift and deliver knowledge to their students.
Lately, a pilot project that will enable students to access all forms of reading materials was launched at Burayu Preparatory School, in one of Oromia Special Zones Surrounding Addis Ababa.
Support Education Chief Executive Director, Mulugeta Assefa told The Ethiopian Herald that lack of books or other reading materials is a common problem for most African countries. The new initiative will, therefore, help to improve the quality of education by accessing e-books and other reading materials, he said.
"The technology will also play a key role in minimizing the cost that will be spending to publish books. These days, the price to publish books is increasing. However, if we digitize books, the problem can be alleviated. By using a single tablet, students can have an access to textbooks and references."
Besides, if students can access internet services within their school premise, they can use their tablet to surf various educational web sites, he added.
Prof. Craig Wilson, University of Birmingham and Director of Sparkman Center also said that there are several countries like Ethiopia that has very interesting student text books, but there is a challenge in accessing them. In this regard, the introduction of tablets could help to mitigate the challenge.
Ali Mume is Information Communication Technology teacher at Burayu Preparatory School. He said the technology is transformational for education sector. "We have already seen the significant role played by plasma TV. But it has its own challenge. Electric power blackout can be one simple example. But, if students use tablets, they can learn in all conditions.
The pilot project is designed by Ethiopian and Zambian professionals, and the project's cost is covered by Alabama University, Spakman Center. Support Education, that integrate Ethiopian educational curriculum, is implementing the project.