Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, internet access has become an increasingly important part of daily life. This is even more so in the education sector which would require students to sit in close proximity to each other but now, due to the pandemic, many institutions are starting to offer online-based learning.

To this effect, the South African Council for Educators (SACE), supported by Belgian NPO VVOB (education for development), has launched a digital library that makes thousands of ebooks freely available to 400 000 SACE-registered teachers. The SACE Virtual Library is powered by Snapplify’s technology and includes a wide range of content – from professional development, leadership and management, to teaching resources and books for leisure reading.

"The President of South Africa has highlighted how important it is for the country to become a nation of readers and our vision to launch the SACE Virtual Library for our registered educators and stakeholders is in line with this – to strengthen reading and literacy in South Africa," said Ella Mokgalane, CEO at SACE.

πŸ“· The SACE Virtual Library offers thousands of ebooks to educators across South Africa – for free.

Empowering teachers in South Africa

When online learning is mentioned during the ongoing pandemic, it is often initiatives aimed at students. Very few initiatives are aimed at empowering teachers. That's one of the reasons the SACE virtual library is an interesting initiative.

It goes without saying that teachers play a vital role in nurturing students. As a result, they need to have access to resources and tools that not only help them to be the best teachers they can be but empower them to continue growing and evolving in their teaching profession.

"Engaging with the reading material from the SACE Virtual Library counts as part of educators’ continuing professional development. Therefore, educators will also be able to record their professional development points by accessing the reading material from the virtual library, which is closely linked to the Continued Professional Teacher Development (CPTD) portal," said Mokgalane.

To access the SACE Virtual Library, teachers need to be registered with SACE. Members have been emailed an invitation to join the library, and can also log in to the library using the link found in the SACE CPTD portal. Once books are checked out of the library, teachers can read them on any device, online or offline, using the Snapplify Reader app.

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