News and Events

In the most recent issue of the Journal of Learning for Development - JL4D published by the Commonwealth of Learning, Paul Prinsloo of Unisa provides a brief history of distance education in Africa and recognises and documents leadership on the continent. Saide is proud to note that both our Director, Jenny Glennie and our OER Africa Project Director, Catherine Ngugi, are recognised in the article.


Saide participated in the Creative Commons Global Summit at the end of April.  Our African Storybook Initiative shared a platform with Pratham Books from India. We are very proud that we feature prominently in the 2016 State of the Commons Report.


Our African Storybook annual review of 2016 is now available. The major achievements in 2016 were the release of the Reading component of our new responsive design, as well as of our free Reading App in both Apple and Google Play stores. The App has been sent to the Department of Basic Education (DBE) in South Africa, and is on their list of recommended Apps in the new DBE cloud.  An Ethiopian specific version is deployed on tablets in 25 libraries in Ethiopia through partnership with Beyond Access and CODE-Ethiopia. 



Three Saide staff were fortunate to attend PCF8 in Malaysia towards the end of 2016.  Saide's Director, Jenny Glennie, made a presentation on our African Storybook Project. Catherine Ngugi, our OER Africa project director also made a presentation and Ephraim Mhlanga was the theme co-ordinator for the Quality and Equity theme.

Saide hosted an Ethics Symposium on Thursday 27th October 2016 as part of our Siyaphumelela Project.  One of the keynote speakers was Paul Prinsloo of Unisa who gave a presentation Mapping the ethical implications of using student data - A South African Contextualised View.

We're proudly announcing a brand new crop of storybooks in two Ethiopian languages - Amharic and Afaan Oromo. This newsflash features just eight of these new titles, so watch the website as we publish more Ethiopian folktales over the next few months.
In addition to the new stories, we also have ASb-approved translations in Amharic and Afaan Oromo of storybooks from other countries.
African Storybook thanks Mezemir Girma (Amharic) and Mulualem Daba (Afaan Oromo) in particular for their contributions to African Storybook quality assurance. 


Quality assurance of eLearning - what it is and why we need it. Dr Ephraim Mhlanga of Saide led an online workshp introducing current frameworks and more importantly how new quality assurance frameworks can be created specifically in, and for the African diaspora, to ensure the future of African-based eLearning. Watch this video for a brief overview of the contents of Ephraim's workshop that took place earlier in  August. The recorded proceedings and workshop resources of the workshop are available on the e/merge Africa website.

Promising practices towards systemic interventions for student success


In 2014, the Kresge Foundation invited South Africa’s public universities to apply to participate in the Siyaphumelela – we succeed programme aimed at enhancing the use of data analytics to improve student retention and success in higher education.  The selected universities (Wits, UP, UFS, NMMU and most recently DUT) have provided a plan to improve their institutional capacity to collect and analyze student data and integrate it with institutional research, information technology systems, academic development, planning and academic divisions within their institutions to increase student success. This conference took place in Durban from 28 - 30 June.  Leading academics participated in the conference. University World News covered the conference with the following three articles:

This book, drawing on 15 case studies contributed by 29 OER researchers and policy-makers from 15 countries across six continents, examines the implementation of the pivotal declaration through the thematic lenses of policy, costs and transformation. Tessa Welch and Jenny Glennie present a case study on open educational resources for early literacy in Africa: The role of the African Storybook Initiative.


Welcome to our latest OER. The Guide for Making and Using Stories is a resource from our African Storybook Initiative that can be used by fieldworkers, community librarians, teachers, parents and others who are working with young children. There are different kinds of activities for you to use.  The activities give ideas on how to create, translate, adapt and use stories from the African Storybook website.