A UK start-up is pioneering technology that, it claims, can help to fight poverty in developing countries by allowing millions of people to learn to read and write in English using their mobile phones.
Glasgow-based Kilk2learn is developing Journey 2 Basic Skills, a digital app that uses computer games graphics to teach the basics of literacy, numeracy and English.
It is to to launch a pilot project to deliver the course to several hundred learners in remote parts of Uganda, rural and urban communities in India and refugee communities in Scotland over a six month period. Thereafter it plans to roll-out the programme across India and Africa.
The app is being developed in consultation with a range of partners including UNESCO with content provided by City College in Glasgow. The World Literacy Foundation has pledged to provide low-cost, solar-powered tablets to people without smartphones or tablets of their own.
It will be delivered by Blupoint, a Southampton University spinout company that specialises in providing connectivity to non-digital environments.
The project is the brainchild of Ann Attridge, a former schoolteacher from the Isle of Skye, who developed Journey 2 English, a ground-breaking digital English language qualification available through smartphones, which is being used by refugees from Syria and Iraq in the UK.
She has launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to raise the £35,000 needed to recruit additional programmers and actors to record voiceovers in the various English dialects necessary to deliver Journey2BasicSkills to a global market.
Ann, who has a post-graduate degree in linguistics, is developing the digital course in response to significant demand from overseas and UK customers.
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