SUCCESS & INNOVATION
A 21st Century model library has greatly changed the reading ability and habits of students as well as the attitudes of school stakeholdersDate : 2016-08-31
One of the key achievements of E2L has been the development of a new kind of model school library better suited to the needs of the 21st Century. The first prototype was built in Char Primary School, Svay Rieng Province and makes extensive use of modern building materials including formica and glass. Traditional school libraries funded by other donors tend to use outmoded furniture made of hardwood that cannot be easily fitted to the contours of rural school libraries, which tend to be very small. As a result, library designs tend to be inefficient in their use of space, not very colorful, and unimaginative in their presentation to children. With support from Child Fund, KAPE has introduced formica furniture that fits perfectly with the space and shape of local libraries. The new design promotes colorful presentations of reading spaces, multi-functional furniture, well-lit reading areas, and an attractive environment. These libraries also introduce M-learning devices that for the first time enable rural children to access Khmer-language software reading programs linked to the national curriculum that facilitate considerable amounts of self-learning. The success of the new model has been dramatic and KAPE intends to start replication in at least 5 more libraries next year.
After the model library was renovated in July 2015, the attitude of the students changed because they found it was very enjoyable to come to read books in this new model library and they began to actively enjoy learning. Sek Samon, the school secretary, explained that this model library was renovated by Easy2Learn and officially opened in July 2015. With his smiling and happy face, he said that the number of students that come to read in the library has increased from 30% to more than 80%. “The increasing number of students that come to read books and play learning games in this model library has been unbelievable because there was not this number of students that used the library in the past”. The new library has greatly helped develop children’s reading ability. Char Primary School now has an advanced library to help improve reading benchmark implementation through a Rapid Response System that has also been set up to help students who are struggling with reading skills. The Rapid Response System depends heavily on accessing literacy software programs to help children practice their reading.
The model library also received strong support from the School Support Committee. Chen Makara, an SSC member, said that, the SSC contributed some funds raised from the community to put in wall-to-wall glass windows to admit more sunlight and give the library a natural look. People are really enamored with the new library and wish every school could have a library like this.