NGO unveils a Sh32.5 million modern library in Mwala

Close to 18,000 learners from 63 schools in Mwala sub county will benefit from learning materials after Kenya Connect, a local Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) unveiled a Sh32.5 million ultra-modern library at Wamunyu.

The library built, courtesy of donations from individual donors and foundations across the world houses more than 30,000 books ranging from story books, supplementary reading materials and books on general knowledge.

Kenya Connect Executive Director James Musyoka told KNA in his office on Tuesday that the library aims to inculcate reading culture among learners at a tender age.

“Our goal is to break barriers to education by bringing books to the children and empowering them to be successful students,” said Musyoka.

He disclosed that the literacy and library programme which started in 2012 with 500 books has seen literacy levels within the 63 partner schools improve tremendously.

“We have partnered with 52 primary and 12 secondary schools and the performance of the students has improved significantly compared to other schools not covered by the programme. For example, the average mean score for the 52 primary schools is 270 marks compared to other schools that record a mean of 250 marks,” said the executive director.

The library has partnered with schools within a radius of 30 kilometres from its location with an exception of two schools in Kitui and covers Wamunyu, Masii, Kibauni, Muthetheni and Yathui.

The NGO has a bus that delivers books to the partner schools and reading takes place after the normal classes.

The learners are also allowed to borrow two books for a fortnight as long as they are registered with the library. Membership fee is Sh100. The library is also open to the community at the same fee.

“The learners can also visit the library either after school, during weekends and holidays. They can choose to read from the library or borrow the books,” said Musyoka.

The library has a recording studio which allows learners to create education materials for exchange programs with other students across the world.

“The students are connected with others in different parts of the world through the exchange programme. The recorded videos are posted in a portal where the learners can access. We also provide some of the resources required to create the videos,” he added.

Besides the library Kenya Connect trains teachers on professional development skills within the sub county.

Musyoka said the organisation is currently working with 500 teachers to empower them on key tenets of the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) like creativity and technology.

“Most of the teachers lack technological skills and we organize workshops and train them on how to integrate technology in teaching and learning,” disclosed the executive director.

The NGO among other programmes teaches basic computer skills to nearby schools.

Speaking during the launch of the library, Kenya Connect USA Executive Director Dr. Sharon Runge said the organisation aims to enrich and empower learners in public schools within Mwala through literacy and other empowerment programmes to enhance comprehension, fluency and ultimately improve their grades.

“Our goal is to prepare students for the future through the power of education,” said Runge.



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