The government now intends to digitalise all school books and other paperbased educational materials in a move to do away with dated physical reading manuscripts and embarking onto ebooks.
Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda stated here that the country’s educational system must go digital because it would make it easier for both students and teachers in Tanzania to access available reading and teaching materials on convenient and modern platforms such as personal computers, tablets and even smartphones.
Mr Pinda explained that the move will also include establishing a giant national digital library and archives that can be accessed from practically anywhere in the country.
“We are going to start with institutes of higher learning and secondary schools and later on include all books for primary levels,” stated the premier during the launch of a new library building at Banjika Secondary School in Bashay village, Karatu District.
“In the old days, stocking of piles of large volumes of books used to be popular among students who wanted to be seen as ‘learned,’ but that is no longer applicable today. We want scholars to access e-books on lighter platforms,” said the prime minister.
He, however, did not divulge when the ambitious project was likely to kick off, but pointed out that once rolled out, it would save the state a lot of money and help reduce the footprint covered by analogue libraries.
The oval-shaped library building which the PM launched in Karatu comprising a ground floor for bookshelves and office space and an upper floor for reading benches, was constructed at a cost of 100m/-. The funds were contributed by various local and international development partners.
According to the school’s management, the facility will serve students as well as their teachers. Banjika Secondary School has 628 students, among them 337 girls and 291 boys and 28 teachers. The teachers also use the library as a source of referral materials to supplement their guide books.