Snapplify , a South African digital education solutions provider has been awarded the UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize for 2023, which recognises contributions to mother-tongue-based literacy development.
With over 50,000 free eBooks, Snapplify’s e-library offers around-the-clock access to engaging educational and leisure reading materials. Teachers can easily share curriculum-aligned educational content and grow reading communities in their schools while receiving insightful analytical data on student activity and performance. Various language settings are accommodated, and teachers receive language-specific training and support. Currently, the platform hosts content in all 11 South African languages, and several other African languages.
Snapplify South Africa Government Partnership Manager, Stephen Bestbier, expressed his pride in the company’s achievements, stating, “We were very warmly welcomed by the entire community, and our contribution to their children’s education has been deeply appreciated. Seeing little children in some of the remotest parts of our country proudly reading aloud from books they only have access to because of our work, is extremely humbling.”
This prestigious award is a testament to Snapplify’s groundbreaking e-library programme, which is dedicated to providing accessible digital educational resources to learners from diverse linguistic backgrounds.
The impact of Snapplify’s Africa e-library project extends far beyond the classroom. Through partnerships with local governments and over 1,000 local and international publishing and content partners, over three million learners have been reached.
The inspiration for this online resource was a realisation of the profound language diversity that exists worldwide. Accessing sufficient digital educational resources is often a significant challenge, especially for learners from different linguistic backgrounds. The COVID-19 pandemic further underscored the importance of remote learning and accessible digital resources.
This initiative has brought educators, parents, and the wider community together to inspire a love for reading and life-long learning.
Collaborations with education departments in various provinces, particularly KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, and the Western Cape, have played a significant role in equipping thousands of students and teachers with the digital tools and resources they need to learn and teach effectively.
Snapplify believes that literacy skills should be intertwined with broader issues such as environmental consciousness, social justice, and cultural understanding. The e-library features multicultural literature with diverse characters, settings, and perspectives to encourage empathy, tolerance, and cultural awareness while advancing literacy skills. By continuously adapting to the rapidly evolving technological landscape, accessibility is ensured across various devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops.
“Snapplify relies on the support of key stakeholders who share our mission to increase access to education and transform the future through literacy. We invite governments, NGOs, and ministries of education throughout Africa to collaborate with us and expand the range of available content by adding more resources and books in local languages. Together, we can enable all African learners to access the best digital education tools and empower them for a brighter future,” says Bestbier.
According to the company,while the UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize is a tremendous honour, Snapplify sees it not as an endpoint, but a steppingstone toward their greater goal. The company aims to extend their technology solutions across the entire African continent, collaborating with governments, teachers, learners, and other education stakeholders to establish robust and sustainable digital learning ecosystems.