Why the SACE Virtual Library was launched and how you can use it to further your career

We recently held a Q&A session with Ella Mokgalane (CEO of SACE), Wilfried Theunis (Country Programmes Manager of VVOB), and Debra Ogilvie-Rood (Head of the Snapplify Foundation) to discuss the recently launched SACE Virtual Library

At Teacha!, we’re all for getting helpful resources into the hands of teachers – so this library has got us really excited!

In this Q&A, we discuss the SACE Virtual Library – how it came about and what having a digital library with thousands of books means for teachers across South Africa.

Teacha!: From SACE’s point-of-view, what was the driving force behind the recent launch of the SACE Virtual Library?

Ella from SACE: The President of South Africa has highlighted how important it is for the country to become a reading nation and SACE’s vision is in line with this – to strengthen reading. The SACE Virtual Library presents reading opportunities for our SACE-registered educators and stakeholders. They can access various digital resources that will contribute to their knowledge, material development, as well as teaching and learning.

Teacha!: How do you believe providing access to ebooks and digital content will help teachers on their professional development journey?

Ella from SACE: 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. This is closely linked to the Continued Professional Teacher Development (CPTD) portal.

Teacha!: What type of content will be included in the SACE Virtual Library for teachers to access?

Ella from SACE: The library will include a wide range of content – everything from professional development, leadership and management, teaching resources, and books for leisure reading.

Teacha!: Wilfried, can you share a little bit more about VVOB and the work you do in South Africa to support teachers, and why VVOB are supporting this particular initiative?

Wilfried from VVOB: VVOB works with the Department of Basic Education and SACE, as well as the departments of education in the Free State and KwaZulu-Natal, to better support school leaders and teachers. 

Part of our support involves looking at the SACE CPTD management system and assisting SACE with supporting educators even more. If you combine this focus of ours with the drive of the department to promote reading and improve literacy outcomes, it was a very simple decision to support this virtual library.

Teacha!: Debra, can you tell us a little more about the role of the Snapplify Foundation in the implementation of the SACE Virtual Library and how it fits with the overall mission of the foundation?

Debra from the Snapplify Foundation: At the Snapplify Foundation, we have a deep appreciation for the vital role that teachers play to nurture learners. It is therefore crucial that teachers 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.

Teacha!: Debra, In your view, what does success look like with the role out of the SACE Virtual Library, what are some of the crucial outcomes you would like to see transpire?

Debra from the Snapplify Foundation: With an education structure now continually adapting to meet and overcome the challenges that the current global pandemic has brought about, it is now even more crucial that teachers have the opportunity to access digital content and resources. By providing teachers with ebooks that they can access anywhere, anytime (24/7, seven days a week), and even read offline, our hope at the Snapplify Foundation is that they will benefit professionally as well as personally, spending time not only on their professional development but also spending time enjoying reading books for pleasure. 

To access the SACE Virtual Library, you need to be registered with SACE. 

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