Isaac

Isaac was one of the three students engaged as lesson designers. Prior to beginning the project, he was the most computer literate among the design team and had tremendous experience working on the OLPC laptops at the library. For PLIP, he learned Etoys quickly, and as a team member he did the programming for 80% of the lessons created. When two teacher-student teams were formed, Isaac was Mirriam Banda’s programming counterpart, but he was so competent that he also helped Betty Chocha with her programming. During the last phase of the project, he worked with the teacher translators and the other 3 young designers and artists re-programming the lessons in Icibemba, Luvale, and Silozi. Isaac found working with teachers very interesting because he learned Cinyanja (his mother tongue) better. He learned things he had not learned at school (i.e. more words, vowels, syllables, etc). He also gained some competency in the other Zambian languages he helped to program (Icibemba, Luvale and Silozi). What Isaac admits to liking best, though, was working with the teachers in a more positive environment; he was spoken to softly and with respect in the library, as opposed to the harsh manner in which some teachers speak to him in class. Isaac worked on a team for the first time during the course of the PLIP project. He learned that working as a team is far better than working alone. On a team, you can get advice and learn by asking the other team members. For his work in the eIFL.net project, Isaac earned school fees for 5 years of school (Grade 8 to Grade 12)—all the way through to his graduation from secondary school. He believes that earning school fees was much better than being paid as cash can be spent very easily on small things. Throughout his year-long work on the project, he kept reminding himself that the project was helping him with his life, and that boosted his commitment. He dedicated all his Saturdays and his whole month-long Easter vacation to working on the literacy lessons. Isaac feels grateful that he has learned to be responsible in life because of having to commit to participate regularly in this project. It also taught him to show respect to others. He plans to regularly use the literacy lessons to improve his developing skills in Zambian languages.

Lubuto Library Partners