Even as Namibia has found it tough to roll-out e-learning tools and services for the secondary and tertiary student community, not to mention those at the primary level, a streaming platform that offers a wide range of electronic textbooks and study materials has come onboard.

Known as “BUKU” the platform’s objective is “opening a world of knowledge and opportunities for everyone” through e-reading by providing them with unlimited access to an online library of educational textbooks and related tools for a fixed monthly fee.

In short, BUKU makes anyone’s student life “easier, cheaper and more efficient”.

Omutumwa’s Mr Victor Angula asked BUKU’s representative in Namibia Mr Ricardo Mensah a few questions as follows:

Angula:   BUKU is an international Electronic Textbook (E-Book) solution that provides unlimited access to an online library of educational textbooks and tools for a fixed monthly fee.

When did BUKU come to Namibia, and what motivated this move?

Mensah: In 2020 BUKU started entering Namibia. The motivation for BUKU is simply that it’s in line with a shift in the means of offering education, which is inevitable. The recent pandemic has highlighted the need for faster integration of technology-driven solutions, and caused many to fast-track and adopt E-learning sooner.

This brought about challenges and opportunities to innovate and make education accessible in the hybrid learning or full E-learning model moving forward in the world.

Angula: BUKU promises to, among others, create a win-win for students, teachers, and publishers, as well as making anyone’s student life “easier, cheaper and more efficient”. Can you briefly explain how this is possible?

Mensah: This is possible as, among others, we provide all prescribed textbooks for grades 10 – 12, with bonus Cambridge University Press and other publishers textbooks (reference, research, etc.); affordability and cost-saving over buying all the physical books, for unlimited access to all prescribed textbooks and publishers that are available on BUKU; immediate access to BUKU on your existing generic smart devices that have online connectivity; no heavy textbooks to carry, lose, or damage; avoids potential long-term strain and back injuries; and environmentally friendly with a low carbon footprint.

Angula: Can you say in a few words why any parent or guardian of a secondary education student in Namibia should embrace the opportunity presented by BUKU?

Mensah: Most of all it takes away delays, reduces cost, and is healthier for the student and environment.

Angula: In terms of affordability, how does it cost to sign up to BUKU?

Mensah: N$800 for an entire year subscription. It can be paid in two installments (Jan or Feb, and June). Parents can sign up their children by paying directly at participating schools.

Angula: Finally, BUKU rhymes with “book” but with a local twang. What does the word or name “BUKU” mean?

Mensah: No particular meaning besides the sound which is almost universal for most people to relate to the word ‘book’ in English.

In the photo: A young woman enjoying the benefits of e-textbooks through BUKU.