Sesame Workshop launches new educational initiative in UP

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New Delhi Feb 29 (IANS) It’s an initiative targeted at addressing challenges in the pre-primary education space in Uttar Pradesh by introducing the material from TV show “Galli Galli Sim Sim” materials (print, audio, visual and digital) in three districts to address deficiencies in these areas.

The need for this can be gauged from the fact that in a population of 164 million children aged between 0-6, Uttar Pradesh has 31 million where over 65 percent aged three and over 47 percemt aged more than four do not attend any private or public pre-schools in the state, data released by the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) reveals.

Despite achieving 93 percent school enrolment in the state, only 7.9 children in class 1 can read that level of text or more and less than 20 percent in classs 2 can read class 1 level text or more.

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Realising the urgent need to create awareness and activation with respect to primary education in the state and the need for a holistic curriculum which addresses the critical areas of child development, Sesame Workshop in India (SWI) has joined hands with Nihar Shanti Amla to launch its new ‘Learn.Play.Grow’ initiative in three districts – Shahjahanpur (Bareilly division), Farrukabad and Kannauj (Kanpur division).

“Children who participate in high-quality early childhood programmes are more successful throughout their school career than children who are not enrolled in similar programmes. Hence, the concept of early childhood education in India needs to move beyond ABCs and 123s and focus on holistic learning of children.” Managing Director of Sesame Workshop in India Sashwati Banerjee said.

The 12-month programme aims to ensure that children attending the Anganwadi Centres (AWCs) develop stronger school readiness skills. The intervention has been proposed across 3800 AWCs in the three districcts.

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“Children are the foundation for a better future. Investment in their education reaps benefits in the long run. We welcome Sesame Workshop’s initiative in UP and hope that maximum children and caregivers in Shahjahanpur, Farukkabad and Kannauj will benefit from it,” the state government’s department of women & child development said.

The project aims to build the capacity of Anganwadi Workers (AWW) to prepare children for school by using early literacy material of “Galli Galli Sim Sim” in a play-based manner. The project will also educate parents and caregivers about fun and engaging ways to support the child’s literacy development.

“The Learn.Play.Grow model has interesting content that focuses specifically on emergent literacy skills. Nihar Shanti Amla is dedicated to bring about a progressive change in children’s education, for which five percent net contribution from the sale of each pack of Nihar Shanti Amla goes towards this initiative. The project will reach around 70,000 children and their care givers,” Marico Limited CMO Anuradha Aggarwal said.

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Using the experience, learning and expertise of working in government-run AWCs across various states, SWI seeks to develop and improve skills among children like vocabulary, phonological awareness, letter knowledge, narrative skills, print motivation and print awareness through the ‘Learn.Play.Grow’ initiative.

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