Leverages equity of 10 community radio stations and reaches out to 1.4 million people in media dark areas in North & Central India.
Findings reveal that children exposed to Galli Galli Sim Sim showed more than thrice as much improvement in vocabulary and storytelling ability.
Sesame Workshop India, [SWI] the organization behind GalliGalliSimSim [GGSS], the popular educational TV show, shared the impact of its outreach program initiative The Radiophone Project that began in 2011. The program - “Hello Tomorrow”-Technology and Storytelling, Together Changing Rural Children’s Lives, showcased how this project used GGSS’s educational content by combining easily available technology and storytelling to uplift learning levels among children in rural regions of India, especially in areas that were beyond the reach of television.
The Radiophone Project’s goal wasto reach disenfranchised children and caregivers in North and Central India. The Project achieved this by leveraging the equity of community radio combining it with telephone-based systems to bring quality early childhood learning experiences. Under this project, 90 GGSS radio episodes in Hindi were broadcast across 10 community radio stations in Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh. Each of these episodes had messages around language and literacy, maths and reasoning, health and nutrition, environmental awareness, social and emotional health. The project also leveraged the popularity and growing use of mobile phones in the community to increase access to GGSS radio show.
GGSS radio episodes proved to be an effective learning medium for The Project’s close to million and a half listeners. While it is believed that a radio show cannot change societal norms overnight, there is no doubt that the GGSS radio episodes broadcast on the community radio stations has had significant impact in places where children and their families had little or no exposure to outside information and are considered media dark areas. Findings from both qualitative and quantitative research revealed:
- Literacy and language witnessed significant gains as children exposed to GGSS content showed more than thrice as much improvement in vocabulary and storytelling ability.
- Meaningful transformation in practices and behaviors at the individual, the family and the community level including increased community participation towards children’s learning and growth.
- It succeeded in addressing a need, improve learning outcomes amongst children and create a sustained listenership within the community, in a short span of 24 months.
The conference held on 3rd June, in which all stakeholders of the project participated, was held with the objective of sharing learning from The Radiophone Project with the community at large on using the media as a mechanism to reach the most unreached. It brought together government officials, policy makers, members from bilateral & multilateral agencies, members of the community radio forum, representatives from the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, academicians, corporates, other developmental partners and the media; to discuss the need and possibility of increasing support for creating and broadcasting children’s content across community media platforms.
Speaking on the occasion, Supriya Sahu, Joint Secretary (Broadcasting), Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, said, “Community Radio movement in India has taken deep roots. With more than 170 operating community radio stations and more than 200 in the pipeline, the CR sector in India is the largest network in South Asia. CR is well positioned to take children’s radio content in a productive way. There is a dearth of good quality content for children in India in local languages and dialect. Projects like Radiophone can significantly improve the quality of content for children in local Indian languages.”
SWI along with its participating community radio stations, technology partners – Gramvaani, Research partner – Ideosync Media Combine shared the over-all content, program, technology and research design as well as highlighted key learning and impact through the project.
While addressing the session, Sashwati Banerjee Managing Director, Sesame Workshop India said: “Sesame Workshop India is proud to have amalgamated technology and storytelling techniques to make learning more effective and engaging. Leveraging the equity of Community Radio, in a country where majority of the population still lives in media dark areas is the key that can help reduce the huge economic disparity between rural-urban populations of India. However, this medium has not seen the same kind of development as other radio platforms. We believe that this is an innovative and sustainable model that can be replicated to bring quality early learning experiences to disadvantaged children across India.
In fact, the power and reach of CR stations works well in serving both the community as well as marketers/brands to explore and know about areas that otherwise would have been left unexplored,” she further added.
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