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Odi still able to read through the global pandemic

Getting an education during the COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult for many children and young people around the world. Learning has been disrupted and moving to online learning has been extremely challenging.

Eleven-year-old Odi attends a local primary school in Central Province, Papua New Guinea. She is one of the top students in her class, and with support from ChildFund Papua New Guinea, she has been able to continue her education during widespread lockdowns.

ChildFund is working with World Vision to ensure that children like Odi can continue to improve their literacy skills and access a digital library of age-appropriate reading materials.

When lockdowns started, Odi missed her friends and school when her classes were suspended. With support from her parents, Chris and Konai, Odi continued reading, doing home assignments and other school activities at home.

“Because Odi was interested in school, we didn’t face too many difficulties in getting her to do her schoolwork at home. She was always looking for materials to read during her free time. And we supported her by buying newspapers and downloading reading apps so that she could read,” said Chris.

Odi’s parents described her as a very eager student, who had shown her love for reading at a very young age. Her love for reading was fostered when her primary school joined the Together for Education Project, and she could access a digital library using digital spark library kits supplied by Library for All.

“I really enjoy reading, and I look forward to reading on the tablets every day because it has so many books in it, and I can just sit at my desk and read anything I want with just a tap of a finger,” said Odi.

The digital spark kits contain 40 tablets, and each tablet has a collection of over 500 books. This meant that schools without libraries could access books and children and young people could improve their literacy skills through reading.

Odi’s parents believe that reading and literacy create a foundation for their children’s education, and they are very happy that Odi has access to more than 500 books in the digital library.

“Students who are struggling now have access to these books on the tablets and it has improved a lot of students reading and when children read better, they are bound to perform better in school because now they will be able to understand all the other subjects better,” said one teacher at Odi’s school.

The Together for Education project is a World Vision project that is run in partnership with ChildFund, CIMC, Library for All, University of Canberra, and is funded by the PNG-Australia Partnership Fund.

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