Reading in class

Using books to get back to learning

18th June 2020 | Blog

Lydia is the head teacher at Narok Primary School in Laikipia in rural Kenya. Her school has been closed since March due to restrictions imposed because of Covid-19.

Lydia, Head Teacher of Narok Primary School

For many of her pupils, learning from home is impossible and they do not have books at home.

Lydia’s pupils are at risk of falling severely behind in their education and having their dreams shattered.

But all is not lost. Lydia believes the books you are helping to send will play an important part in supporting her pupils to catch up and get back to learning when her school reopens.

Below she tells us more:

Local landscape in Laikipia


“I have over 410 children enrolled in my school and many of them trek over 10 kilometres to get to class. We have pupils from pastoralist communities, the Samburu and Turkana people, and most are very poor.

Laikipia children
Many of Lydia’s pupils are not learning at home but helping their parents in the fields

Right now, the lockdown is a very big challenge for them because they depend on selling their animals but the markets are closed. This means that they may miss their daily bread.

Currently, our children are not learning.

Because of Covid-19, all schools have been closed.

This is a big problem because the children don’t have books at home, so they are no longer reading or learning.

Most of them are just going to work in the field with their parents and as most of our parents are illiterate, they cannot support their children’s learning at home.

Playing outside
Lydia worries that this extended period out of school will negatively impact her pupils’ future

The government has been trying to put in place methods for Kenyan children to learn through the television, laptops and smartphones.

But in our region most of our parents cannot afford books, let alone these gadgets.

And to add to that, we have very big areas with no internet or even electricity.

The teachers and I are very concerned for the children. It’s a crucial time as their minds are developing.

I know many will have forgotten what they were taught once the school reopens.

It can really affect their development and their future.

The teachers and I have already planned to burn the midnight oil when we return to school. We will have to work extra to make up for lost time.

We will add an hour to the school day so the children can read in the library because books will really help them catch up.

Books are the ideal way for these children to learn after lockdown and to learn seriously.

But we don’t have enough books. The library will need more books as we have so many children but so few books.

Sharing a textbook
Currently Lydia’s school has no books apart from curriculum books

Brand new books from Book Aid International will help the children explore the world and reach their true potential.

It costs just £2 to send the next book – and the book you send could help some of the world’s most vulnerable children get back to learning and pursue their dreams.

Please give what you can today using the link below, by calling us on 020 7733 3577 or emailing


*The photos used in this blog were taken before lockdown.

Send books to schools like Lydia's

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