There are more than 2.5million pupils out of school in Rwanda who are in their families due to Covid-19 lockdown which started on March 21 to prevent more spread.
For parents it’s a responsibility to keep their children learning so as to cope with their school life.
We are presenting to you a sample of digital channels that can help your child keep reading.
Nabu free books
Is a non-profit organization with a mission to solve the imbalance in the creation and distribution of children’s books globally, so all children can read and rise to their full potential.
On Nabu, parents can check out original children’s story books on the Nabu app, in English, French, Kinyarwanda and Swahili.
The books are written by authors and illustrators living in Rwanda, Haiti and USA.
Normally in Rwanda, children would have to go to the Kigali Library to access and read these books but with Covid-19, pupils can still remain in the reach of the books electronically.
Using the Nabu App https://t.co/6GKMsnF8HR?amp=1 one can download and read books for children and adults for absolutely free.
However, should you choose to get them from Nabu website, be ready to part with a little cash out of their pockets at a cost less than $20 per book bought online.
As children and families around the world struggle to stop the spread of Covid-19, Nabu has used the power of storytelling in the development of a new collection of diverse storybooks to share vital information that could save lives.
The Virus-Stopping Champion (by Hilary Rogers) is one of two free stories distributed by global non-profit literacy organization NABU, featuring a child superhero who learns how to prevent the spread of the virus.
While, I Love You (by Michael Ross) helps children cope with the emotional impact of not being able to visit their elderly relatives during the lockdown.
These add to the UNICEF Recommended tale book, ‘My Hero is You’ by Helen Patuck which was created to explore children’s questions and fears about the Covid-19 epidemic.
Nabu Executive Director, Tanyella Evans said that the story books crafted by health experts and illustrated by Rwandan artists, provide valuable information for a global audience.
“In the US, we hope that they can particularly help African American families who are facing higher rates of infection by providing stories with images of kids that look like them fighting the coronavirus,” Evans said.
Nabu’s Covid-19 Health Collection is available to download for free on Nabu’s website www.nabu.org/covid19.
Print editions will be available soon for purchase on all major online book retailers, with proceeds going to support Nabu’s efforts distributing these stories globally.
The organisation is encouraging anyone to submit a translation through their website, with translated versions being released within 7 days on www.nabu.org.
This web-based application Hadithi za Africa Pamoja (Haapa) a Swahili phrase to mean (All Africa news) https://www.haapastore.com/ contains audio books for children and adults which only cost only Rwf200 per book- which can be paid using Mobile money or a PayPal account.
The publisher, Fiston Mudacumura, CEO of Mudacumura publishers says that in partnership with government this platform will enable other book authors to sell their content during the coronavirus period with ease.
This is an Amazon company, a US based global online delivery firm and bookstore, which took one of the first measures to respond to the demand of alternative resources of learning for children during Covid-19.
Though the story books are based on foreign children stories https://stories.audible.com/start-listen provides audio books that can keep a child busy during the coronavirus period.
Using the above link, a child can choose which books to listen to and even pause in case they want to take a short break.
Once logged on, one gets all stories free to stream on their gadgets- desktop, laptop, smart phone or tablet with an interrupted internet connection.
“For as long as schools are closed, we’re open. Right now, children everywhere can instantly stream an incredible collection of stories, including titles across six different languages, that will help them continue dreaming, learning, and just being kids,” Audible said on its website.
Open Culture K-12 resources
This is the mother of all educational collections that provides a list of free educational resources for K-12 students (kindergarten through high school students) and their parents and teachers
K-12, a term used in education and educational technology in the United States, Canada, and possibly other countries, is a short form for the publicly-supported school grades prior to college. These grades are kindergarten (K) and the 1st through the 12th grade (1-12).
The Open Culture platform offers over 200 free Kids educational resources: Video Lessons, Apps, Books, Websites and more http://www.openculture.com/free_k-12_educational_resources.
Once on the website you will find free video lessons/tutorials; free mobile apps; free audiobooks, ebooks and textbooks; quality YouTube channels; free foreign language lessons; test prep materials; and free web resources in academic subjects like literature, history, science and computing.
Just by subscribing to ixl.com a child can get a ton of interactive science and math lessons for primary one to six. The content is fun, personalized and comes with rewards if your child embarks on a virtual treasure hunt. By taking up challenges he wins rewards.
The parent also can access real-time data on your child’s usage and progress but the difficulty of the exercises automatically adjusts to your child’s level. It progresses at the pace of the child.
REB learning resources
With support of UNICEF, Rwanda Education Board (REB) has identified more than 100 radio scripts from around the world focusing on basic literacy and numeracy that could be adapted to align with Rwanda’s school curriculum.
The scripts for children class lessons are broadcast on FM stations including Rwanda Broadcasting Agency, KT Radio, Radio Maria Rwanda, and Radio Inkoramutima to reach many children around the country.
The aired programs run every Monday to Friday in the morning and evening hours are posted on the REB website and twitter for each week of the Covid-19 lockdown.
Similar but more visual and elaborate pupil and student education programs during Covid-19 are broadcast also on Rwanda TV and TV10 from Monday to Friday.
Rwanda is among the more than 120 countries have already introduced nation-wide school and university closures affecting nearly three-quarters of the world’s student population – an estimated 1.2 billion learners – according to UNESCO that number is expected to rise as the Coronavirus looks set to spread further.