LubutoLiteracy: Zambian Teaching and Learning Materials for the Digital Age
Innovation: LubutoLiteracy: Zambian Teaching and Learning Materials for the Digital Age
Innovator: Lubuto Library Project, Inc. (LLP)
Location Applied: Zambia: Lusaka and rural regions of Zambia
Potential Impact: 47,000 children
LubutoLiteracy: Zambian Teaching and Learning is a pioneering program creating high-quality mother-tongue materials to teach children in Zambia to read using an accessible, low-cost digital platform and sustainably deploying these materials at national scale in partnership with government and other stakeholders. The interactive materials are developed locally by teachers and youth in line with the national curriculum and leverage the open access learning environment and outreach of Lubuto Libraries to particularly benefit highly vulnerable and out-of-school children. LubutoLiteracy provides open access to interactive, computer-based lessons in Zambia’s seven major languages. A significant factor favoring the success of the proposed project is that it builds on the lessons of LLP’s unique pilot program in its two libraries in Lusaka.
The materials are developed on open source software that can run on any computer platform, with the goal of making them accessible on other devices such as e-readers and mobile phones. This concept reaches the most disadvantaged children and communities, many of whom have limited access to electricity and the internet and typically do not benefit from “technology” projects. One Laptop Per Child laptops are well-suited to this effort as they are designed to be durable and energy-efficient, while the lessons themselves will be made freely available for download on CD-ROM.
Inspiration: After OLPC laptops were successfully introduced in Lusaka libraries in 2009, the idea of LubutoLiteracy emerged, says Project Manager Stacy Langner. “Laptops were quickly learned and used with ease by children – including those who spoke limited English, deaf children or children with other physical disabilities. Our extensive knowledge of the educational/information needs of Zambia’s vulnerable youth who, along with all Zambian youth, are served by our libraries and our partnerships in the education sector in Zambia provided further direction and inspiration.”