Sesame Square Nigeria
Sesame Street, an award-winning television series created by Sesame Workshop, is a shared experience for children throughout the world. With more than 120 million viewers, Sesame Street is regarded as the largest informal educator of young children. The television series is committed to the principle that all children deserve a chance to learn and grow; to be prepared for school; to better understand the world and each other; to think, dream and discover; and to reach their highest potential.
|SESAME SQUARE characters: Kami, an HIV positive girl, and Zobi the taxi driver
Photo: Sesame Street Workshop
In 2008, Sesame Street International and USAID/Nigeria piloted the series to provide an innovative approach to basic education and to help ensure access to educational media to under-served children, especially those in rural areas. Due to the success of the pilot, USAID/Nigeria extended the activity, for an additional five years, to create a locally produced Sesame Street, titled Sesame Square.
Sesame Square will address HIV/AIDS stigmatization and discrimination through messages geared to orphans and vulnerable children and their caregivers. Messages will also focus on maintaining a healthy life-style through visits to hospitals and coping with deaths of loved ones. Sesame Workshop produces Sesame Square in collaboration with local Nigerian partners (educators, producers and broadcasters, and governmental and non-governmental organizations) to ensure that the educational objectives and creative vision for the television program and community outreach materials reflect the developmental, educational, and health needs of Nigerian children, their families, and caregivers.
Sesame Street, working with local partners, will produce 78 half-hour television episodes, 81,000 activity books, 5,400 caregiver guides, and 240 storyboards. These materials will be distributed through an outreach program designed to specifically reach orphans and vulnerable children in nine Nigerian states and to provide training for 5,000 caregivers. Sesame Square will begin airing in May 2011.
|Primary school students of Unguwa-Uku Special Primary School, Kano participating in a demonstration of SESAME SQUARE
Photo: Haladu Mohammed
Sesame Square Nigeria Strategy:
Sesame Square Nigeria will mobilize Nigeria’s major mass media outlets (e.g. television, print, and internet) to provide consistent and daily access to innovative educational programming designed to help young children be better prepared for school.
In addition, Sesame Square Nigeria will:
- Support the mass media’s public mandate to address issues of national importance, including education, health, and hygiene practices, particularly concerning HIV/AIDS, life skills and diversity through capacity building and skills transferring;
- Collaborate with Nigeria’s media professionals to provide access to educational content on television and develop a complementary community outreach initiative;
- Develop a multi-media implementation approach that links informal education and targets preschool aged children to better prepare them for the transition into the formal school system; and
- Mobilize parents and caregivers to engage in their children’s educational, social, and emotional development.
Sesame Square Nigeria will work with Nigerian education and policy specialists to expand the existing educational framework that supports the National Policy on Primary Education, the Millennium Development Goals, and the Universal Basic Education Commission’s objectives in Nigeria.
|Primary school students with Kami dolls. Unguwa-Uku Special Primary School, Kano. Photo: Haladu Mohammed|
- Project Name: Sesame Square
- Life of Project: 2009-2014
- Funding: $ 3,800,000
- Implementing Partner: Sesame Street Workshop
- Geographic Focus: Nationwide