Kids love mobile games, and with deeper penetration of smart devices and access to affordable data plans, more children are getting versed with gameplay at an early age. While these activities are mostly recreational, chances of this demographic abusing them are high because they tend to get addicted. At the same time, some games are harmful to kids as they do not not impart key skills on them.
It is for some of these reasons that Airtel Africa, which runs its mobile telecom services in 15 African countries and Kukua, a start-up company that purposes to eradicate child illiteracy in Sub-Saharan Africa, have teamed up to offer Sema Run. This is a unique learning mobile app that aims to improve a kid’s literacy skills while enjoying interactive gameplay.
Functionally, the app, which is available on Android, is built with regard to cultural values, and offers a platform for children aged between 5-10 years to learn how to read, write and do basic arithmetic. The literacy aspect of the game is designed by world literacy experts, cognitive psychologists and education specialists.
Unlike modern games that need Internet connection to sync progress with tools such as Play Games, Sema Run works offline just fine. This is critical because it keeps bills for data bundles as low as possible.
The game’s main cast is Sema, a character that takes kids on a magical adventure while empowering them to learn how to read while gaining technological power to navigate through obstacles. It should be noted that the game’s interactive process covers all letter sounds to learn how to read, offer a fun way to practice letter sounds in school and offers instant feedback and end-of-level assessment.
“We combine education and gaming to make our app Sema Run the perfect activity that keeps children busy doing something meaningful and fun at the same time,” says Kukua’s Co-founder and CEO, Lucrezia Bisignani.
Airtel will be sending instructions on how to download the app via SMS to its subscribers. In the same line of thought, the app targets this holiday season to allow children spend their free time doing something educational and fun.
“The main character of our app, Sema – a courageous and innovative young African girl – is ready to inspire, teach and play with all Kenyan children who are just beginning to learn how to read and Airtel is helping us reach them all. For this we are very grateful and excited,” adds Lucrezia.
The app, which weighs about 12 MB, is available via this Google Play link.