Saide, the South African Institute for Distance Education, is a non-governmental organization based in Johannesburg but conducting projects throughout South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. Saide's task is to contribute to the development of new models of open and distance education practice, that accord with and take forward the values, principles, and goals of the evolving education systems in the Southern African region. It has also paid particular attention to the appropriate use of technology in education and most recently established a Kenya-based initiative, OER Africa, to promote the development and sharing of OER on the African continent.

News and Events

You may recall that Saide through their OER Africa Initiative recently collaborated with the University of Catalunya on the use of OER to support teacher development through distance education. As part of this process, Catalunya invited teachers interested in the use of ICTs in the classroom to participate in a 5-week MOOC. Well, there is another opportunity to participate in this MOOC starting on 27 October (but with materials available from 24 October). The materials are mostly in English but discussions will be facilitated in 7 languages, now including French. 

You can apply/ find out more information at the following link:  

More detail is available in this earlier newsletter article.


The Broader Impact of the PHEA ETI at University of Education Winneba is now available on the Saide website. Dr Issifu Yidana, ICT in Education Head at the university made the following comment on the project


"It's been wonderful what the PHEA ETI came to do.  There are many who were very pessimistic about what educational technology could do to modernize course delivery.  But this has changed as a result of the VC's direct involvement. Management are ready to motivate, provide resources, free up time."


More information on the Partnership in Higher Education in Africa Educational Technology Initiative and concluding outputs is available on the project page.

The policy for the provision of distance education in South African Universities in the context of an integrated post-school system has been gazetted. The Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Nzimande states that "since the current infrastructure within the South African university sector cannot accommodate the needed expansion, distance education would make a significant contribution to the required growth in the sector." Click here to read the policy.

Saide is thrilled to announce that our African Storybook Project website was recently launched at a symposium on Multilingual Resources for Early Literacy Development with generous funding from the European Union. The team worked tirelessly to ensure that the website was ready for the day.  We were honoured to have distinguished speakers such as:




  • Suzanne Singh, Chairperson of Pratham Books in India;
  • Carole Bloch, PRAESA Director, who is currently leading the Nal’ibali literacy campaign;
  • Lilli Pretorius, professor in the Department of Linguistics at Unisa;
  • John E Joseph, professor of Linguistics & English Language from the University of Edinburgh;
  • Robinah Kyeyune, Literacy Advisor for the School Health and Reading Programme in Uganda;
  • Mary Metcalfe who is heading up a large-scale system improvement programme in KwaZulu-Natal and Northern Cape education districts;
  • Esther Gacicio, from the e-Learning Division of the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development;
  • David Crabtree, an education expert on neuro-diversity and learning differences, and
  •  Representatives from the Department of Basic Education (curriculum section).

 Kapilolo Mahongo together with Marlene Winberg from the Manyeka Arts Trust entertained participants with marvellous !Xun stories, five of which have been republished with original San drawings on the African Storybook Project website

Most of the presentations were filmed and links will be made available on the African Storybook project page and on our YouTube space shortly.

Do visit the website to “find”, “create” or “version” a story. Any feedback would be most welcome.