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Welcome to AfricArXiv

This initiative showcases UbuntuNet's commitment to fostering knowledge sharing, collaboration, and accessibility within the African research community. With AfricArxiv, researchers across the continent have a dedicated platform to disseminate their findings, making them accessible to a global audience. By facilitating open access to scholarly work, UbuntuNet Alliance plays a pivotal role in advancing the principles of open science, enhancing research visibility, and driving innovation across Africa.

 

Communities in AfricArxiv

Select a community to browse its collections.

Now showing 1 - 5 of 5
  • The general repository is open for individual submissions by researchers, librarians and research administrators.
  • Showcase of project activities, presentations, and scholarly contributions curated by the AfricArXiv initiative.
  • A Rapid Grant Fund to address research questions and implement science engagement activities associated with COVID-19
  • An initiative to support the development of a harmonised quality assurance and accreditation system at institutional, national, regional and Pan-African continental level.
  • Facilitating knowledge sharing and collaboration among institutions, researchers, and educators within the Ubuntunet Alliance network.

Recent Submissions

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Teaching language and literacy in Grade R: The value of oral storytelling.
(Wordworks, 2024) O'Carroll, Shelley
The low early grade reading levels of South African children have been well documented (Van Staden & Gustafsson, 2022), and recent PIRLS results highlight challenges with reading comprehension at Grade 4 level. Recent research indicates that these reading challenges begin long before Grade 4. Many children are not acquiring alphabet knowledge early in their reading trajectory, and these children are more likely to struggle with reading fluency and comprehension in later years (Wills, Ardington & Sebaeng, 2022). In addition, we know that reading comprehension has a strong base in oral language which develops from the earliest years of a child’s life (Dickinson & Tabors, 2001; O’Carroll & Hickman, 2012; Snow, Burns & Griffin, 1998). Although young children are too young to read, “reading comprehension has an oral language complement, and oral language can be addressed at very early ages before children can read” (Spencer, Weddle, Petersen & Adams, 2017, p. 2). Drawing on research and best practice for teaching young children, this paper highlights the key principles that underpinned the development of materials to strengthen oral language teaching in Grade R. These materials were developed as part of a story-based Home Language programme for the Gauteng Grade R Language Improvement Project, a provincial teacher training programme targeting all Grade R teachers in public ordinary schools, special needs schools and registered ECD centres in Gauteng. This materials-development project provided a unique opportunity to develop an affordable, open-source, evidence-based programme for South African children and their teachers in the 11 official South African languages. The development team needed to ensure that the teaching and assessment activities for the project were curriculum aligned and covered the content in the CAPS Home Language for Grade R.
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Teaching language and literacy in Grade R: A focus on letters and sounds within a story-based programme
(Wordworks, 2023) O'Carroll, Shelley
The low early grade reading levels of South African children are well documented (Van Staden & Gustafsson, 2022). Recent PIRLS results highlight challenges with reading comprehension at Grade 4 level, but studies also show that many children are not acquiring alphabet knowledge earlier in their reading trajectory, and that these children are more likely to struggle with reading fluency and comprehension in later years (Wills, Ardington & Sebaeng, 2022). But why is learning about letters and the sounds they make proving to be such a difficult task for the majority of children in South Africa? When is the optimal time to be learning about letters and would it make a difference if alphabet knowledge had a stronger focus in Grade R? Local and international research is clear: letter–sound knowledge is critical for learning to read and write in an alphabetic language (Snow, Burns & Griffin, 1998; Castles, Rastle & Nation, 2018). What remains controversial is when and how best to support children to learn about letters and the sounds they make. Drawing on research and best practice for teaching young children, this paper highlights the key principles that underpinned the development of materials to teach letter–sound knowledge in Grade R. These materials were developed as part of a story-based Home Language programme for the Gauteng Grade R Language Improvement Project, a provincial teacher training programme targeting all Grade R teachers in public ordinary schools, special needs schools and registered ECD centres in Gauteng.
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An exploratory study of early letter-sound knowledge in a low socio-economic context in South Africa
(Aosis publishing, 2011) O'Carroll, Shelley
This paper explores one aspect of early literacy development in a low socio-economic context in South Africa. Assessments conducted with a sample of children from two disadvantaged communities in Cape Town indicated that in this context, almost half of the learners entering Grade One were unable to recognise any letters. A Grade R intervention conducted by volunteers showed that children from this context were able to learn letter-sounds in Grade R through a programme that focused on teaching letter-sounds in the context of building language skills, emergent writing and concepts about print. In order to strengthen the effectiveness of the intervention, the volunteer programme was supplemented by support for the Grade R teacher and teaching assistant. Follow-up assessments of one of the intervention groups at the end of Grade One revealed significant correlations between early Grade One letter knowledge and end of Grade One word reading and spelling skills. The findings of this exploratory study are in line with research that shows the importance of letter-sound knowledge in the earliest stages of learning to read. This raises concerns about the historical lack of emphasis in the Grade R curriculum on this aspect of early literacy development. Although the study has a narrow focus and conclusions cannot be drawn about other aspects of early literacy learning in this context, the results suggest an urgent need for quality Grade R teacher training programmes with a specific focus on emergent literacy.
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Nurturing Rural Resilience: Coping Strategies and Collaborative Initiatives in South Africa’s COVID-19 Response
(2023) Okem, Andrew Emmanuel; Mubangizi, Betty Claire; Adekanla, N.,; John, S. F.
The susceptibility of rural areas to the challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic is readily apparent, particularly given the pre-existing conditions of poverty and resource limitations within these communities. Consequently, rural populations confront considerable adversity amid the pandemic. The capacity of these communities to withstand such challenges hinges upon their adeptness in managing the resultant impacts. This policy brief emanates from a research inquiry conducted within two distinct local municipalities in South Africa, namely Matatiele and Winnie Madikizela Mandela (WMM). It delineates the coping mechanisms employed by these municipalities to contend with the exigencies imposed by the COVID-19 crisis. Notably, strategies encompassing the mitigation of food insecurity, the diversification of income streams, the enhancement of emotional well-being, and the curtailment of expenditures assume primacy among individuals endeavouring to secure alternative means of sustenance. This observation underscores the fundamental role of coping strategies, often centred around the satisfaction of elemental requisites such as income generation and food provision. To fortify these communities against potential disruptions, cultivating resilient local institutions and implementing efficacious collaborative endeavours emerge as indispensable. Such measures empower communities to identify and adopt alternative livelihoods, concurrently facilitating the establishment of a supportive infrastructural framework.
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Socio-Ecological Factors Associated with Preventive Behavior
(Brill, 2024-06-28) Engdawork, Kibur; Amdework, Ezana; Assefa, Samuel
Understanding factors influencing the adoption of preventive behaviors is crucial in pandemic prevention and control. This study employs the social-ecological model to examine the determinants of preventive actions against COVID-19 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Data from a household survey were analyzed using a linear regression model. The findings indicate a moderate level of preventive behavior adoption among residents. Interpersonal behavior, community norms, and organizational-level factors are identified as significant predictors, while personal and demographic factors have little influence. These results highlight the need for context-specific health interventions, addressing social and structural aspects, to effectively combat COVID-19 in Addis Ababa and similar low- and middle-income settings.