NEWS I Grapho Group Ltd from Finland has launched the Brazilian Portuguese language version of their early literacy learning intervention as a free app across Brazil. This public launch is led and endorsed by Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro whose announcement for the literacy initiative was broadcasted on TV, social media and several radio stations nationwide. The signed commercial agreement between Grapho Group Ltd and the Ministry of Education in Brazil enables the distribution of GraphoGame to over 11 million children speaking Brazilian Portuguese.
GraphoGame Brazil is part of the Tempo de Aprender (Time to Learn) programme run by the Brazilian Ministry of Education to provide children, families and teachers with effective school and literacy resources.
Grapho Group’s local academic partner, Instituto do Cérebro at PUCRS, will also be running an efficacy study on the Brazilian Portuguese game.
The paid distribution of GraphoGame in Brazil adds to the growing list of countries where GraphoGame is offered as a national literacy resource. These include the USA, Argentina, Colombia, Panama and Chile sponsored by Haskins Global Literacy Hub, Inter-American Development Bank and CEDETi UC, respectively. The app is also available through paid distribution in France and Norway.
Jouko Leinonen, the Ambassador of Finland in Brazil, commented after the announcement of the literacy skills campaign in Brazil:
“We are so proud to see a Finnish research innovation, GraphoGame, to be the driving technology to take this important literacy skills initiative nationwide in Brazil. The Ministry of Education in Brazil has shown a remarkable determination to tackle this current issue as it impacts the whole nation now and in the future if not paid attention to.”
Jaana Palojärvi, Director for International Relations for Ministry of Education in Finland, said:
“This is yet another remarkable achievement by Grapho Group. Their innovative literacy skills app is quickly gaining attention and making an impact on a globally critical issue - illiteracy. It is also a good example of how to make a Public-private partnership work to tackle illiteracy on a national scale.”
Advancing literacy skills worldwide
GraphoGame was initially created by the University of Jyväskylä and Niilo Mäki Institute from Finland as a result of decades of longitudinal research and development. It is a literacy software and e-learning methodology that has been used as part of the Finnish school curriculum for over a decade.
Since then, GraphoGame has been contextualised into multiple languages including English (British & American), European Portuguese, French, Spanish, Chinese Pinyin & Zhuyin, Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish, Bahasa Indonesia, Cinyanja and Swahili by top universities around the world. These Universities include the University of Cambridge Centre for Neuroscience in Education, Haskins Laboratories (Yale), Aix-Marseille University and Instituto do Cérebro (PUCRS) for the British English, American English French and Brazilian Portuguese language versions of GraphoGame, respectively.
The Brazilian Portuguese language version game has been researched and developed in collaboration with the University of Jyväskylä in Finland and with university partners at Brain Institute of Rio Grande Do Sul PUCRS in Brazil.
Professor Augusto Buchweitz at PUCRS said on the development work:
“The development and nationwide release of the Brazilian Portuguese version of Graphogame is part of the efforts of Grapholearn and Grapho Group Oy in collaboration with the Haskins Global Literacy Hub. The hub is a worldwide network of scientists of reading that, among other goals, aims to increase the accessibility to effective Education Technology (EdTech) in developing countries.”
“Graphogame has been proven to complement early literacy education and offers individualized and adaptive learning to children with different needs. The efforts came as a response to the learning gap in early literacy between poor and rich children, which is only increasing as a result of COVID19. Throughout 2021, we will be implementing studies with GraphoGame Brasil in cities across Brazil to evaluate its effectiveness and improve its content.”
Ulla Richardson, Professor in Center of Applied Language Studies, University of Jyväskylä, commented:
“We are excited to hear of the successful launch of the latest language version of GraphoGame in Brazil. It has taken years of hard work and dedication by so many people to put the technology in place to tackle the global issue of illiteracy. We could not be happier to see yet another country putting this issue in the core of their immediate national interest.”
A new curriculum to support literacy skills in Brazil
Grapho Group works with a diverse set of organisations such as governments, NGOs, foundations, charities to enable the paid distribution of GraphoGame as a free national literacy resource in various countries worldwide. Customers also include school suppliers, schools, speech therapy clinics and parents.
Mervi Palander, CEO and founder of Grapho Group Ltd stated after the launch:
“The development of the Brazilian Portuguese language version of GraphoGame and its paid distribution would not have been possible without our close collaboration with PUCRS and the Ministry of Education in Brazil. It has been an absolute pleasure to work with everybody in this project and we are grateful to see it go forward with President Bolsonaro’s support.”
“So far, we have already exceeded over 1,4 million downloads across Android, iOS and Microsoft app stores, and the numbers keep increasing around the world. It is great to see so many countries making literacy skills a national priority.”
Watch the announcement from President Bolsonaro’s livestream (39:00 - 49:00)
Berit Virtanen-Thewlis, GraphoGame Press relations, +358 40 511 4460, firstname.lastname@example.org