In continuation of the E-Reader Project, Discipleship Ministries and Board of Higher Education and Ministries through Discipleship Resources International (DRI) recently delivered 42 Kindle e-readers to the Banyam Theological Seminary (BTS) in Nigeria. Over 100 students and faculty members participated in the three days of training facilitated by E. Julu Swen, DRI Representative in Africa and Joe Ndzulo Tueche, Field Project Manager of United Methodist Communications. Blessing Dan-Azumi, E-Reader Project Manager at BTS, helped with the distribution of e-readers to the students.
In his remarks during the training and presentation of the Kindle e-readers, the Provost of Banyam Theological Seminary, Rev. Dr. John Pena Auta, said the Kindles were lifesaving in the educational quest of the institution. He indicated that the BTS students were very far from the physical copies of the books that they needed to do their assignments, adding, “the Kindles have removed the pressure of finding books to do assignments from both the students and the faculty.” Provost Auta also indicated that learning conditions and the grades of students have improved since the arrival of the Kindles on the BTS campus. “These Kindles have revolutionized our educational system here at BTS to the extent that every institution in Jalingo, Taraba State wants them,” he concluded.
“The Kindles came to BTS just like manna from Heaven,” Rev. Danladi I. Dikko, Faculty Member of the BTS, said. Professor Dikko noted that the Kindles are solving all the difficult problems they were having in teaching their students. “We can now assign them to books that they can even take with them on breaks or weekends,” Dikko emphasized. He also pointed out that faculty members and students are now discussing issues relating to the subject matter very easily, adding, “knowledge is now a shared commodity among the BTS family.”
In her testimony about the Kindles, student Talitha Yahuda said the Kindle has removed the worries of carrying a backpack full of books every time she makes a trip. “The easiness to carry the Kindle influences my reading habits,” Yahuda said. Though she graduated in 2015, Yahuda said she sees her Kindle as the school and the people who donated it. “I pray that they can find the resources to help my brothers and sisters who are still here at BTS and those who are planning to come,” she added.
Banyam Theological Seminary (BTS) was established in 1946 with the intention of teaching literacy and evangelism to United Methodists who wanted to be pastors of the church. Now as a United Methodist-affiliated learning institution operated by the United Methodist Church in Nigeria, Banyam is now offering a bachelors degree in Christian Education Ministry, diploma in Christian Religion Education, and Summer Hausa Diploma in Christian Ministry. Banyam Theological Seminary is in Bambur, the Karim Lamido local government area of Taraba State in northeastern Nigeria. It has a student population of over 200; 185 males, 20 females, and 11 faculty members. BTS became part of the E-Reader Project in 2015 and has received more than 100 e-readers to date.