Reading is a fun and fundamental pillar of education and a gateway to a different, better future. Growing a reading nation is one of the country's objectives for the next years. One of the ways to achieve this objective is to broaden access to libraries and books using technology.
In addition to the e-Libraries in the 61 Teacher Centres nationwide, the Digital Classroom offers stories, tips and relevant news for reading on phones and tablets. All reading material on our site can be downloaded for free by Vodacom users.
In our Reading corner you will find:
- e-Libraries, an overview of solutions that make books available via cell phones and tablets
- African Storybook stories and teachers' books
- Book Dash books
- Fundza stories
- Nal’ibali stories and tip sheets
- Reading news
In order to help advance literacy development, one of the most critical elements in the country’s education value chain, Vodacom and Huawei together with the Department of Basic Education and the Nelson Mandela Foundation launched their e-Libraries programme in July 2015.
The e-Libraries programme is an educational content application, which is freely available on Huawei tablets at the 61 Vodacom Information and Communication Technology (ICT) resource centres that are situated across the country.
The 400 Huawei sponsored tablets have been loaded with an exciting collection of e-book content and includes genres of African literature, history, business/entrepreneurship and fiction. This collection is available in all eleven languages and made accessible by publishing partners Via Afrika, Oxford University Press, Shuter & Shooter, FunDza and is complemented with content from the Department of Basic Education and the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
Let's read, asifundeni, kha ri vale.....
Let’s Read is Via Afrika’s answer to the continually growing demand for quality literature in all eleven official South African languages. What makes Let’s Read truly great is not only the gripping content, but also the fact that these books can be read on feature phones.
Let's Read offers a wonderful selection of short story anthologies, novels, drama, poetry and folklore in all South African languages.
Oxford Owl is an award-winning website to help support children’s learning, both at home and at school. Find tablet-friendly e-books, inspiring school improvement and teaching support, and look out for new content being added all the time.
- Over 250 free tablet-friendly interactive eBooks
- Practical tips and advice on how to help children to read
- Frequently asked questions with answers by trusted experts
- A helping hand to make phonics easy with audio and video
- Ideas and activities to make reading fun
- A Kids’ Barn activity zone includes fun and games with Oxford Reading Tree characters
Macmillan has launched a mobile version of its Talking Stories library. This means that 256 graded story books across a variety of genres, in English, isiXhosa, Afrikaans and isiZulu are available on cell phones and tablets.
The stories reflect real life in South Africa, affirming the sense of identity and dignity of every young reader. A Talking Story allows the reader to hear a story read out while following it on the screen.
Instead of an adult pointing their finger to each word, the reader will see each word highlighted as it is read, in the early stages.
Every story comes with three interactive reading activities. These activities are fun and bright, and greatly loved by children. Many have animated rewards for correct answers. Every story also has a printable worksheet. The activities cover the full range of the language curriculum.
The African Storybook is an initiative of Saide, a non-profit organisation dedicated to enabling successful open learning for all in Sub-Saharan Africa.
On the African Storybook website you can find, create, or translate hundreds of picture storybooks in the languages of Africa, for children’s literacy, imagination and enjoyment. The stories and the creation and translation tools are completely free. You can download and copy the stories and/or illustrations without having to ask for permission or pay a fee. The stories can be read online or offline or printed from the website.
The Digital Classroom offers some African Storybook teachers' books and stories in isiZulu to download. For Vodacom subscribers no data charges apply.
Book Dash organises events where teams of professional writers, illustrators and designers come together to create new African storybooks. Since the first event in May 2014 over 25 childrens’ books have been created this way.
Anyone can freely translate and distribute these Book Dash books under a Creative Commons Attribution licence. This means that Book Dash helps to get books into the hands of children in a cheap and effective way.
The Digital Classroom offers the Book Dash books to download. For Vodacom subscribers no data charges apply
FunDza provides content that gets people hooked. The FundZa books and stories are exciting, relevant and authentically South African. FunDza reaches and interacts with readers through cellphones and has developed a 'library on a phone.'
The Digital Classroom offers a number of FundZa stories to download. For Vodacom subscribers no data charges apply.
Children who are immersed in great and well-told stories – and in languages they understand – become inspired and are motivated to learn to read for themselves. Such personally rewarding learning is a recipe for successful literacy development.
Nal’ibali is driven by PRAESA (the Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa), Times Media and a growing number of partners. Through sustained mentoring and collaboration with communities, reading clubs, literacy organisations and volunteers of all ages, as well as a vibrant media campaign, Nal’ibali is helping to root a culture of literacy into the fabric of everyday life in South Africa.
The Digital Classroom offers Nal'ibali tip sheets and Nal'ibali stories to download. For Vodacom subscribers no data charges apply.
2 November 2015 - Nal’ibali, the national reading-for-enjoyment campaign, has announced the shortlist of 15 nominees for its ‘Story Bosso’ storytelling competition that ran throughout Literacy and Heritage Month in September year. Celebrity judges will now assist Nal’ibali literacy activists in deciding South Africa’s first Story Bosso and two runners-up.
8 September 2015 - This September, the Nal’ibali reading-for-enjoyment campaign is launching a nationwide storytelling competition to find South Africa’s first ‘Story Bosso’. The competition will connect the public to ideas and inspiration on how to tell stories and identify undiscovered storytellers in communities across the country.
7 July 2015 - In order to help advance literacy development, one of the most critical elements in the country’s education value chain, Vodacom, Huawei together with the Department of Basic Education and the Nelson Mandela Foundation launched their e-Libraries programme today.
22 April 2015 – The annual World Book Day promotes reading, publishing and copyright. The South African celebrations will take place in Gauteng with a Door-to-Door reading awareness campaign, book donations and a special message from Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.
2 May 2014 - Mobile phones and cellular networks are transforming text from a scarce resource into an abundant one. Millions of people in developing countries are empowered to read books and stories on their phones. In South Africa Fundza and Bookly are drivers of this 'mobile reading revolution'.