STIAS will host a third Wall Colloquium Abroad at its Wallenberg Reseach Centre from 17 to 19 October 2013. The colloquium is arranged within the framework of an existing Memorandum of Agreement between STIAS and the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies (PWIAS).
The colloquium is linked to a project of the South African Institute for Distance Education: SAIDE’s African Storybook Project: Research for Social Change, and was preceded by two earlier Wall colloquia at STIAS which since have had far-reaching effect: The HIV-Exposed but Uninfected Infant: How Can the Excess Morbidity and Mortality be Explained? (November 2009) and “Many Voices One Song” – Health promoting schools: Evidence, Strategies, Challenges and Prospects (November 2011).
Background to SAIDE’s African Storybook Project
While the Millennium Development Goals sought to encourage greater access to education in Africa, the increased number of children in school has not been matched by improvements in the quality of education. The lack of reading materials and other resources for elementary school children has been a significant barrier to school success. Advances in technology have now made it possible to scale up the availability of reading material for African children, through the digital medium. However, coordinated action is needed to ensure that the digital stories are both accessible and useful to the target population. The goal of SAIDE’s African Storybook Project is to contribute to improved literacy of children throughout Africa by developing a comprehensive digital library of openly licensed stories in multiple languages for early reading of African children, as well as tools to facilitate access to and use of these stories in schools and communities.
The colloquium is organised by Bonny Norton of the Department of Language and Literacy Education, UBC, currently a Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the PWIAS, with Tessa Welch, Project Leader of SAIDE’s African Storybook Project. Sessions will also be led by Ephraim Mhlunga of SAIDE and Mastin Prinsloo, University of Cape Town. The colloquium will introduce the African Storybook Project, its stories and its pilot sites (Uganda, Kenya, and South Africa), as well as other African, Canadian, and international partners. Representatives will include 40 participants from 6 African countries, 10 universities, and 5 research and development projects. The colloquium will provide a basis for the development of a collaborative research framework for the project. This framework will help to ensure that findings from relevant research both within Africa and in the international community can be harnessed to promote the success and sustainability of this important and groundbreaking educational initiative.
Further background documentation may be found at www.africanstorybookproject.pwias.ubc.ca/content/about
Public Presentation: Friday, October 18, 3:30-5:00: Elinor Sisulu: “Why I Write for Children”.
Auditorium, Wallenberg Research Centre, STIAS. Reception to follow. All Welcome!