Digital libraries for Wawin

Students at the Wawin National High School, in Morobe Province, buy at least 100 Flex cards in a week to conduct their research online.

Deputy principal – administration, Kokomba Moso, said students and staff can now conveniently access information online with the installation of four Pi digital libraries – hand-sized mini-computers – around the campus.

The project was initiated by former Wawin student and Digicel PNG’s Lae-based commercial executive, Daniel Bailey, through the Digicel Foundation’s staff grants program.

Bailey, who graduated from Wawin in 2006, enlisted the help of another former student and IT technician, Zantu Dom, to help with the digital libraries project through his company, Yalkru Nigedo Consulting.

Bailey shared with the students the difficulties he faced when he was a student there, highlighting the existence of only one mobile operator then and to contact their parents, they had to get on a PMV and make the 25-minute trip out to the main road to get reception.

“Mipla leit lo PMV em mipla wakabaut kam bek ken ya,” he said. “That’s how hard it was lo taim blo mipla.

“There were no computer labs, we had a library but the school had just started so how we did our research or whatever... that was how we struggled. So when the Digicel Foundation grant came up, the staff had the opportunity to apply so I applied for the e-library project.

“What we have given to you, please take care of it. And remember, you are now fortunate. During our time, we struggled. There was no internet; it was hard.

“It’s free. You don’t need to use Flex to get data.

“I’m really proud to give something back to my school and at least we’ll have some more good students graduating and going into university and maintain Wawin’s school of excellence reputation.”

Dom, who graduated from Wawin in 2004, said each device contains 500GB worth of data.

“The biggest component of this device is the Wikipedia encyclopedia, so it’s a full encyclopedia, updated to May 2022,” said Dom.

“There’s also a collection of over 60,000 free electronic books and it’s called ‘Project Gutenberg’.

“And there’s also the Khan Academy by a professor, who is Indian but he migrated to America. He was always busy teaching in the university and felt that he was neglecting his children so he said ‘Maybe I should start making videos for my children so they can learn by themselves while I’m busy’.

“So he started doing this and a lot of people got on board and helped him. They developed video tutorials and quizzes for grades 5 up to 12. So it’s all in there.

“You can watch the videos and also save them onto your devices – your Android phones or laptops.”

The digital libraries also have influential videos from TED Talks, dictionaries, maps and atlases.

Users can only access data contained in the digital libraries.

Wawin’s head girl, Sharlene Tringin, thanked the foundation for supporting their learning, adding the digital libraries will also benefit future Wawin students. 

Loop author