One day in office, we were going through the reports of children reading on Kitablet and we noticed that one particular school had overshot the graph. We were stunned to see who it was, because it had been a while since the school had told us about anything after the teacher orientation in the previous month. We decided to give it a visit.
Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Bagalur, Bangalore Urban, captivated us with the beautiful campus, but more than that it was the simplicity and enthusiasm of the children to read that thrilled us.
When asked about the reading behaviour of the children, the principal took out a folded paper from his desk. It was an anonymous note a child had slipped in through the window of the principal’s office. On the other side, it was written, “To our Dynamic Principal”.
Now, who can deny that innocent request to get access to books they wanted from the library!
The librarian told us that he is almost harassed by requests from children when one child returns a book and he has to choose between three or four of that child’s friends and another ten in line, constantly debating who has to be given the next chance.
During our observations in the computer lab, the children were ‘up and running’ on Kitablet within five minutes of the period. Although there is no firewall here, they hardly went to other sites, mostly searching only for images of the words they had encountered on Kitablet. They were not speaking to each other–only engrossed in the wonder in front of them; also, perhaps the effect the computer teacher has on them, who was constantly in motion to help them with the system, and reading herself when time permitted.
After two periods, we were sitting outside the lab, as another teacher was showing a Hindi video to the children. In two minutes, we were approached by hesitant teenagers, ready with a list of books they would like to see on Kitablet. They had names for us from the Indian pluethora we had not even heard of, despite working on Kitablet for the past one year!
They even had questions for us like, “Whose idea was Kitablet?” and “Why is it not available on smartphones?” They were good listeners too, as seen in the picture, listening attentively to us, and we, in turn, learning from them.
Well, if the present has child readers like these, our future is, indeed, bright!