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Airtel, IT start-up Kukua to boost children’s literacy skills

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A pupil uses a computer tablet. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Through Kukua’s learning mobile application dubbed Sema Run the children aged between five to 10 years will be playing a game that at the same time teaches them how to read, write and do basic math.
  • The literacy schooling used as the Sema Run back-end system is designed by literacy experts, cognitive psychologists and educational specialists.

Airtel Africa has partnered with Kukua – a start-up company – in a bid to improve children literacy skills through interactive mobile games.

Through Kukua’s learning mobile application dubbed Sema Run the children aged between five to 10 years will be playing a game that at the same time teaches them how to read, write and do basic math.

The literacy schooling used as the Sema Run back-end system is designed by literacy experts, cognitive psychologists and educational specialists.

“Kukua has partnered with Airtel to distribute instructions on how to download the Sema Run app to over two million subscribers via SMS during the holiday season to allow children to spend their free time doing something fun and meaningful,” said Kukua’s co-founder and CEO Lucrezia Bisignani.

“Once downloaded, Sema Run works offline allowing users to utilise the app without requiring Internet connectivity and therefore making it pocket friendly especially for parents.” The mobile game’s main character, Sema, takes children on an adventure while empowering them to learn how to read as she gains technological powers and navigates through obstacles.

The interactive app covers all letter sounds to learn how to read, offers a fun way to practice the letter sounds learnt in school and also provides immediate feedback and end-of-level assessments.

“We combine education and gaming to make our app Sema Run the perfect activity that keeps children busy doing something meaningful and fun at the same time.”

Airtel has been actively involved in social welfare initiatives across 15 African countries where it operates.

It has forged ties with local communities, corporate organisations, institutions and governments to reach out to the lesser privileged especially the field of education.