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How Mobile Games Could Hold The Key To Eradicating Illiteracy
  • How Mobile Games Could Hold The Key To Eradicating Illiteracy

    Admin 0 0 468 Date: 22 Mar 2017
  • Social entrepreneur Lucrezia Bisignani has created an app that aims to teach millions of African children to read


    Forget Candy Crush, social entrepreneur Lucrezia Bisignani is using mobile gaming to teach African children basic literacy and maths.

    Some 100 million African children are functionally illiterate. Millions more leave school without reaching basic levels of education or, even worse, never make it there in the first place. Young women are hit the hardest; many of them are forced to forego education and stay at home to cook, clean and care for their their extended families. Before they even reach double figures, young girl’s lives are mapped out for them.

    “Children are not learning with the correct teaching methodologies,” Bisignani told the audience at WIRED2016. After graduating from Singularity University, a Silicon Valley think tank that challenges innovators to use exponential technology to change the lives of one billion people, Bisignani set out to build a game that would teach children to read.

    As it happened, Bisignani couldn’t have come up with her idea at a better point in history. The tumbling cost of hardware, and the relative availability of mobile devices in rural areas made it easy to get her app in the hands of children. Couple that with pioneering new research into child literacy and the stage was set for the Italian entrepreneur to start changing the world.



    Bisignani put together a team of education experts, game designers and app developers to found Kukua. She’s currently participating for the Global Learning XPRIZE, a competition to develop open source and scalable software that will enable children in developing countries to teach themselves basic reading, writing and arithmetic within 18 months.

    Her team came up with Sema, a game that, according to Bisignani gives children “a magic wand that unlocks their potential.” Aimed at young girls, the mobile game uses the story of a courageous African girl to teach children English and Swahili. In the wake of the Syrian Civil War, Bisignani rebuilt the app in Arabic to help educate 2.8 million Syrian refugees with almost no access to stable education.

    “We want to redefine quality education,” Bisignani said. Reflecting on a past visit to Gambia, she looks forward to a future where she can look up to the sky and know that she played a tiny part in putting the first female African in space.

    Article by Matthew Reynolds For Wired

    How mobile games could hold the key to eradicating illiteracy




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