A shining star: Ko Ko Naing’s Story
An 11-year-old boy, seated at a table in the library, is intently reading a story from a tablet screen. It can be said that his facial expressions reflect the story. He starts to smile when he reads the enjoyable plots. His eyes also tend to shine.
“I enjoy reading books on a tablet because it’s simple and easy to understand.”, said Ko Ko Naing, who speaks Karen Language as a mother language and lives in a village in Kayin State with his family. His father is a driver, and his mother looks after the family and house. He is a Grade 5 student who loves to read books in addition to being interested in studying.
"I learned the Myanmar alphabet and characters for the first time in Grade 1. I had the opportunity to study and practice the language with my grandfather as my father sent me to my grandfather's place on my holidays. I have been reading comics since Grade 1, and then I was able to read stories since Grade 2." Ko Ko Naing recalled his memories.
Whenever he gets home from school, he does his homework, helps his family, and reads a book. If he is unclear with the sentences, he approaches his sister, who is in Grade 11, for help.
When Save the Children established a digital library in his village and provided tablets which included many stories, Ko Ko Naing found a different reading experience.
“Reading on a tablet has more vibrant visuals. I prefer reading with a tablet than holding a book. It does not take long to select a book from a digital library. I can choose a book I am interested in within a few seconds because it has a search option that can filter out by typing a single word.”
"I use this tablet to read storybooks whenever I visit the library. With this device, I have now finished reading six books. Among them, I enjoy the tale of 'A sloping hill'. It says that we can succeed if we try and give a helping hand to each other. I always pick books with attractive titles."
He enjoys reading together with his friends at the library. Ko Ko Naing and his friends also talk about the stories they have read.
Ko Ko Naing also has participated in the reading clubs organized by Save the Children. He believes reading can help children gain information, common sense, and critical thinking abilities.
“The practice of reading is beneficial for children like me. The knowledge we get from books can help to solve life’s challenges and struggles. As for me, I live by the moral of the story I read - I must be patient and diligent in achieving my life goals, even in a difficult situation.” Ko Ko Naing concluded his conversation with a shining smile.
Save the Children leverage scalable, innovative education technology and culturally diverse books to improve learning outcomes for children. The Library for All digital library application is available globally for free on the Google Play Store. Curating and launching a collection of 200 books specifically for children in Myanmar on the Library for All app enables all children throughout Myanmar to learn to read and enjoy reading, in school or at home, with the support of their families and communities.
Save the Children provided SD cards, pre-loaded with the digital library, to 30 villages in Kayin State, meaning each of the 2,370 households could instantly access and learn from hundreds of books from their device without needing an internet connection. Save the Children provided 70 tablets pre-loaded with Library For All’s digital library application. This unique hardware provides a dependable, safe and secure environment for students and educators to enhance educational opportunities in the classroom.