The learning paper is based on an original concept of Mike Richards who envisaged a
news paper type of publication being distributed widely to schools in third world and
developing countries. Schools in such countries possess no or little learning resources
which the pupils can read and write on as text books are hard to come by.
The paper would provide enough learning material for pupils during one school term.
Children at Buswa School
Current editions of the paper are between 40 and 60 pages and are printed on news print
paper (60 – 80 grams) much like a newspaper. The learning content is put into four stages,
the first being the easiest and aimed at 5 to 7 year olds. Each stage becomes increasingly
more complex up to stage four which is aimed at teenagers. The idea behind having each
stage in the one paper is that the paper will be taken home for other family members
to use and read all of whom will have varying levels of literacy.
The content is openly laid out to allow writing on the paper itself. The exercises,
games and puzzles are fully illustrated with as many images from the local area as
possible to increase the relevancy of the content. The ways in which the content
is presented will encourage children to engage in their own learning.
Other content in the paper includes information about community related topics
which are sourced from the community itself, health and hygiene, conservation
and information on the company sponsoring the edition. We also include articles
and stories about the country in which it is being distributed. An overall aim
of the content is to make it as culturally relevant to the recipients as possible,
fun and enjoyable to read and use.
Sections in the paper provide guidelines and ideas to teachers in the delivery
and teaching of the content. This gives ideas on how to integrate the paper
into current school activity. The paper is a learning resource which the teacher
will use in a variety of different ways in the classroom. Sections of the paper
are devoted to supporting the teacher’s delivery and helping them not only to
use the paper effectively but also to become more effective teachers.
Since each child in the school will receive their own copy the paper will be
taken home and read by parents who it is hoped will assist their children’s
learning in the home and amongst many family members.
The generation of content for subsequent editions in each area will be sourced
as much as possible from local people. Each school which participates will be
asked to provide feedback and further ideas of subject matter and to contribute
stories from their school and community. In cases where possible a local person
will have the responsibility to gather this information and relay it back to the
agency who are publishing the paper in that particular country.
Unique Learning Materials
The Learning Paper (TLP) creates a unique primary school pupil learning tool
which is used in the classroom by pupils and teachers. The paper provides unprecedented
opportunities to raise the levels of literacy and numeric skills of children in rural
and urban communities where a scarcity of text and exercise books exist.
TLP applies a well thought out, structured model of production, delivery, evaluation
and usage which serves to inspire and empower primary aged school children, teachers,
householders and wider community in rural areas. It brings together partners in community
and educational development to ensure the paper is relevant and is used. It creates a
community of corporate sponsors who identify with sustainable initiatives which blend
Corporate Social Responsibility endeavours with social enterprise.
The following points illuminate some key features of TLP
- TLP is a well crafted tool which directly reaches the most needy pupils
- Used in the classroom as a tool for developing knowledge and competence
- Serves the full age range of primary School pupils P1 to P7
- Relates to Primary Educational curriculum subjects
- Is a text book and exercise book in one package
- Provides much needed pens and pencils
- Compliments and supports teachers lesson planning
- Provides a focus for workplace teacher training
- Reaches parents and other family members
- Encourages growth of basic literacy skills in rural communities
- Involves the District Office and provides them with a means of communication
- Utilises County School Inspectors and Central Coordinating Tutors
- Is a vehicle to build teams of teachers
- Involves Teacher Colleges and their Lectures in writing content
- Local economic growth opportunities
- Provides School Link opportunities between Ugandan and European schools
- Built in evaluation and quality control mechanism