A Storytelling App Aims To Reach South African Children Via Mxit

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Written by Kevin Mwanza

South Africa’s Nal’ibali reading-for-enjoyment campaign working together with instant messaging firm Mxit have launched a new app to put children’s stories and literacy tips into the hands of parents and children. The free app is accessible via the Mxit social networking platform, which now has five million monthly users.

“This is a app that in a way is going to help us in terms of bringing the story in the hand s of the parents, care givers and the community in order for them to have a way of creating the platform and sharing the stories with the kids,” Bulenani Futshane of Nal’ibali Campaign told eNCA News.

“Mxit over the year is a very data light to access and uses very little data. so it’s affordable to use on a daily basis so a story will cost you a few cents to read,” said Maru Van Der Merwe from Mxit.

In sub-Saharan Africa, 10m children drop out of primary school every year. Even those fortunate enough to complete primary school often leave with literacy and numeracy skills far below expected levels.

In addition, there is a major shortage of trained and motivated teachers. It is estimated that to ensure that every child has access to quality education by 2015, sub-Saharan Africa will need to recruit 350,000 new teachersevery year. It seems increasingly unlikely that this will happen.