In a strategic joint effort to fight the global learning crisis and bridge the digital divide, KaiOS Technologies and Worldreader have announced a new milestone of one million readers empowered through the BookSmart app.
Since 2020, KaiOS Technologies, the web-based mobile operating system powering a new category of smart feature phones, and Worldreader, the international edtech nonprofit, have partnered to deliver high-quality reading materials to first-time and early internet users on the affordable KaiOS-powered smart feature phones.
Since the launch of the partnership, over a million people, mainly in low and middle-income countries where the learning crisis and the digital divide are more severe, have read over three million books via the KaiOS powered-smart feature phones on BooKSmart, Worldreader’s mobile reading app.
The alliance has had an important impact in India where it has been activated on the JioPhones and made available on the Jio Store.
Rebecca Chandler Leege, CEO of Worldreader, stated, “This partnership represents putting the power of reading into the hands of those who need it most.”
Despite 95% global broadband coverage, the usage gap remains one of the main challenges for people to benefit from the Internet.
According to the Global Connectivity Report 2022, 2.7 billion people (one-third of the worldwide population) still don’t connect to the Internet.
Device affordability stands as a significant barrier, with nearly 2.5 billion people living in countries where the cost of the cheapest smartphone accounts for a quarter or more of their average monthly income (Alliance for Affordable Internet, 2020).
In Sub-Saharan Africa, the learning crisis is particularly worrying, with more than 86% of ten-year-old children not able to comprehend a simple text, and where access to reading materials at home is scarce or nonexistent.
With most countries having as low as 7% of books present at the household level (Countdown to 2030, 2021), the lack of access has a significant impact on building healthy reading habits among families.
Both organizations are committed to expanding their global reach and impact, focusing primarily on Sub-Saharan Africa, to continue tackling the device affordability and learning crisis.
Sebastien Codeville, CEO and co-founder of KaiOS Technologies says, “KaiOS’ mission to close the digital divide would not be complete without meaningful partnerships like the one with Worldreader, which enables our users to access useful and impactful content that contributes to changing their life”.
Source: Ghana News