Youth in Nakuru can now acquire online skills through Learning Circles, a peer programme supported by the Kenya National Library Service (KNLS).
Learning Circles in an interactive, participatory structure for organising group work for peers pursuing a common online course.
Its goal is to build, share, and express knowledge though a process of open dialogue on various issues with a focus on a shared outcome.
Through the programme, the peers ‘teach’ each other throughout the course.
KNLS Nakuru branch is the second one to embrace the programme after Chicago library since it was rolled out two years ago.
The programme allows learners access courses which include marketing in the digital world, interviewing skills, computer science, website creation and psychology.
Speaking during the launch of the programme, Public Library Innovation Programme Advisor for Africa Janet Sawaya said it also allows one to learn things they were not able to learn in school like résumé writing.
She said the programme allows a group of peers to learn together through interaction and supporting each other in the course they are undertaking.
“Through the online course it is easier to learn when one is with their peers who are at the same level while you have each other’s support,” she said.
She explained that the programme, under the Peer to Peer University, is not only for students but also for people who are already working and of different ages who may decide to take up a business course as peers.
It entails exposing learners who use the library to the various courses available online. They are given certificates at the end of the course.
Even those who are already in employment can access the programme and improve their skills.
Another partner in the programme, Mr Dirk Uys, said every station has two selected champions who will be the ambassadors.
He said they will be working with the KNLS to extend the programme to all its branches.
KNLS Director Richard Atuti said the programme is part of the library’s project that aims at offering a wider concept of adding value to the content already available at the various branches.
Mr Atuti said the KNLS, in collaboration with the partners, identified Nakuru and Buruburu branches in Nairobi which will act as the pilot stations for the new programme.
“Nakuru is a fast-growing town with a good traffic flow in the library and so the programme will reach a larger population,” he said.
Mr Atuti noted that so far, KNLS has more than 24 million users.