The Amazon Kindle Connection to Africa
A former Amazon executive has rained $1.5 million for a two year program to supply schools in Ghana, Kenya and Uganda, Kindle e-readers loaded with hundreds of books. So far, over 180,000 e-books and 1100 Kindles have been given to schools there. For the students, many who are not internet savvy or computer gurus, seem to learn its operation in a few days time and then reading. Sending these to African schools have the benefit of allowing for African authors and their books to be loaded into them. This is far different than real books. Nearly all of the books in schools there come from the US and students have a disconnect with many things, like, ice skating, snow.
In recent reading tests, students seem to enjoy reading more with a Kindle than a paper book and their reading scores have improved by 15%. The only downside to all this is access to electricity to charge the Kindle once it goes dead. In more remote areas, this a source of concern. Another drawback is that, unlike a book, that can be tossed across the room and still be readable, a Kindle would simply not work and all of its content not available. Even dropping one a foot from the floor can render it useless. Yet, another drawback is theft. The Kindle is popular with students and others who learn that the schools have them. While many schools lock them up, thefts have occurred.
Less of a drawback is access to Internet. Many cities have it, but more rural areas do not. Thus, if schools want to download new books they may have to search for the Internet. But, the Kindles come well supplied with school age appropriate books from dictionary's to classics and more localized books.