The African Pulse
The African Pulse is a set of resources (including an interactive CD-ROM and comic book) aimed at 8 to 14 year olds for use in the ‘Life Skills’ segment of the primary school syllabus in South Africa. The CD-ROM deals with issues surrounding relationships, growing up, sex, love and HIV/AIDS. The format of the CD-ROM and other formats enable this age group to learn interactively amongst their peers, relieving the pressures and often ineffective methods of classroom teaching in this area.
The information is presented within cartoon animated fictional stories involving four South African children which allows the exploration of more sensitive, personal and emotional issues as well as factual. The learners use these stories to navigate their way through the learning programme, having the opportunity to stop and start the stories to find more facts about a subject or play some interactive learning games. An ‘exam’ style assignment at the end of each learning section allows the teacher to keep a record of the pupils’ progress and monitor what information is absorbed.
The project already exists in its pilot form with the concept features in place. However, with the required funding and research, the CD-ROM will improve in its overall appearance and content, suitable for integration in the classroom. It is now being developed in hardcopy comic book, video and drama workshop formats.
The proposed changes and improvements will include:
- Fully animated and professional cartoons for the stories,
- Adjustments in the script and interactive qualities within it
- South African accents to imitate the children’s voices
- Interactive education games.
- A more comprehensive exam quiz
- Animated diagrams for factual sections
- A user’s guide for teachers
A registered charity has now been set up in the UK to access alternative sources of funding for the development of the project.