Cellcom Brings ‘Mobile Reading Revolution’ to Liberia

first_imgLiberia’s education sector faces lots of challenges ranging from lack of competent classroom teachers to basic educational tools such as books, libraries and laboratories. But a new ‘mobile reading revolution’ technology era has been inaugurated in the country that would provide students with the opportunity to access all needed books to foster their education using their mobile phone. This program is called ‘worldreader’ and is now a major program installed in the Cellcom tablet sold for only US$129.00. The ‘mobile reading revolution’ was launched on Friday, June 6, in the presence of Education Minister Etmonia David Tarpeh and Montserrado County Senator Madam Geraldine Doe-Sheriff. Also present at the Royal Grand Hotel for the ceremony was the president of the Liberia National Students Union (LINSU) Mr. Varney A. Jarsey and Federation of Liberian Youths (FLY) president Augustine S.M. Tamba as well as the presidents of the University of Liberia Student Union (ULSU), AME Zion University Student Union (AMEZUSU), AME University Student Union (AMEU) and Smythe Institute. Speaking at the ceremony, Education Minister Etmonia Tarpeh thanked Cellcom for “this initiative. This is a result of the company’s creativity,” she said. Minister Tarpeh added: “I know that we don’t have libraries and laboratories at our schools, but what we have here is important.” Madam Tarpeh encouraged the youths and students community to take advantage of the Cellcom product/tablet as it is the new beginning for a much longer future in enhancing their capacity. For her part, Montserrado County Senator Madam Geraldine Doe-Sheriff said she is excited that Cellcom is giving back to the Liberian people through education. “This is unbeatable,” she said. Sen. Doe-Sheriff added “having this type of technology where we go beyond normal classrooms brings competition among young people.” According to the Senator, empowering a student raises that student out of poverty.   A Few months ago, Cellcom launched its tablet without the worldreader. Though the tablet is already sold out; Cellcom Telecommunications Inc. Liberia said it has put in for a new order that is loaded with the worldreader program for its subscribers. The ‘empowering Liberia’ worldreader is a complete library equipped with ‘all’ types of books including mathematics, chemistry, readers, physics, biology and so on— for all levels. The GSM service provider says it is duty to increase the literacy rate in Liberia through cutting-edge technology, since in fact; more people in Liberia have mobile phones.The mobile service provider says by installing the worldreader on the tablet, Liberia has now joined other countries which citizens have the advantage of holding a whole library in their hands everywhere they go. Cellcom’s Corporate Communications Strategist Dr. Kimmie Weeks told the gathering that Cellcom has subsidized the tablet to ensure that it is accessible by vast majority of Liberians mainly youth and students. According to Dr. Weeks, the actual cost of the tablet in other countries is US$600.00. “It is sold outside Liberia for US$600.00, but Cellcom has subsidized it to ensure that it is accessible to young people. It helps them [young people] to do their academic works including research and assignments, etc,” he said. Mr. Weeks emphasized that the worldreader is a global library and is making great impact in Tanzania. He disclosed that once you purchase the phone from Cellcom, all of the books in the phone’s library are free and that they will be constantly updated. “All you need to do is buy your tablet and data from Cellcom and you will have the library in your hands,” he said. Dr. Weeks disclosed plans by Cellcom to make a breakthrough with this product by ensuring that ‘all phones,’ not only smart phones, have access to a worldreader platform. “We are starting with smart phone, but we are finding a way to make this service to work on any phone including the least bonanza phone,” he said. In brief remarks, Cellcom chief executive officer (CEO) Mr. John Vasikaran urged the leadership of the youths and students community to help the company with the marketing aspect of the product and to ensure that it is promoted among students.He assured that Cellcom will not levy extra service charge on the new program, noting that the company will rather ensure that the library on the phone is regularly updated. In his remarks, FLY president Augustine Tamba observed that Cellcom’s initiative is not only welcoming and timely, but is putting the country’s educational system on fast growth speed. “I urge Cellcom to ensure that such information and training be taken to various universities.For his part, LINSU president Varney Jarsey saluted Cellcom for making a major contribution to Liberia’s education sector. “When you read and make research, you make informed decisions,” Jarsey said as he called on Cellcom to work with LINSU to launch the platform at various school campuses nationwide.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

UNICEF Newly Constructed School Delights Students in Fofee Town

first_imgCaldwell dwellers in the Fofee Town community over the week jubilated after a newly constructed and furnished school was handed over to the Ministry of Education (MOE) by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for use by students in the town and neighboring communities.Students of the Fofee Town Primary School, which has 180 pupils, (83 males and 96 females) from six communities say they will benefit tremendously from the new school.“Every month my mother spends L$1,500 for me to cross the river in a canoe to be able to attend school. As you can see, the school was in a poor condition with no bathroom. But this new school that has everything inside will give us all the zeal and something to look forward to when we come to school now,” added Princess Khran, a student of the 6thgrade.Principal Morris Dixon Fofee says that he is overwhelmed by the commitment of the government and looks forward to working with the MOE further. “This is a dream we’ve had. The school started with a study class and the people saw the need to build a school here. PLAN International had a quick impact project and built this school in 2008. Due to the poor condition we wrote the government and told them that there was a need for a new school to be built and luckily for us it happened,” he said.UNICEF managed the construction of the new school, which was funded by the government of Japan. The school has chairs, black boards, desk, library room, teachers lounge, administration office, bathroom and equipment.“The children of Fofee Town will be able to continue their education in a safe learning environment designed for their needs in mind. The school includes seven new classrooms, toilets for boys and girls, hand washing facility and a separate hand pump for clean water,” stated UNICEF’s brief media briefing note.Also, the facility, which is the latest to be launched under a grant from the Government of Japan who is facilitating the construction or rehabilitation of 90 schools in 11 counties across Liberia, has a unique feature.“For the very first time, the school also features a reading room, and a principal’s office and a teachers’ lounge which will serve to enhance the school administration and provide teachers with a dedicated workspace,” the briefing stated.Meanwhile, UNICEF’s representative during the handover ceremony, Sheldon Yett, stated that UNICEF looks forward to further working with the dynamic leader in the educational sector and is optimistic and looking forward to it.Mr. Yett, who said he was present during another handing over ceremony in the same Louisiana months earlier, said:“We have a whole new set of buildings here, buildings where an old school existed before, a school that had no working doors, no plumbing, no toilets, no water and sanitation. This week with the MOE we’ll be distributing over 700,000 kits of basic teaching supplies for all the schools because UNICEF believes in the future of education.“Thanks to the generosity of Japan. Parents do whatever you can to keep these girls in the classroom, make sure that they’re fit and given time to study because studying is essential. Teachers have an important role to play, teach them, ask them questions; the future of this country is in your hands,” Mr. Yett added.Furthermore, the Minister of Education, Hon. George K. Werner added that the Fofee community gave the land free of charge to the GOL and holds it accountable in making sure to deliver on the promise of education.“We have a shared responsibility, the community owns what’s on the land and that means you should protect it along with your students so they can have a conducive atmosphere for learning. We thank the community for giving the free piece of land to educate children in this community,” he said.Meanwhile, Minister Werner added that MOE is interested in promoting education for all, especially for girls.“The enrollment here is more girls than boys, I’m happy to see that. We need to empower our girls and help them to stay on course until graduation. MOE will be monitoring this school to support these girls through graduation,” he disclosed. “We’re at the point of this coalition to change the direction of education. We’ll work with Fofee Town Primary School to make this school what it was meant to be.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more