Award-Winning Takalani Sesame Launches YouTube Channel To Give More Access To Early Learning

Johannesburg, 27 January 2015

Launch of Takalani Sesame YouTube ChannelThe award-winning children’s programme Takalani Sesame proudly announces the launch of its YouTube channel, which is going live on Tuesday 27 January 2015 on https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSOzE3-7BQn7GtiftoiIRsg.

The Takalani Sesame YouTube channel is the latest extension to the number of ways in which the programme can be accessed beyond its traditional television and radio broadcast, complementing its website for parents, teachers and scholars www.earlychildhood-takalanisesame.co.za, its website for children and all those young at heart www.takalanisesame.co.za, its Facebook page www.facebook.com/takalani.sesame.edu, and its Twitter feed @LoveTakalani

The Takalani Sesame YouTube channel will feature segments from broadcast episodes such as the popular “Word on the Street” and “Sound of the Day”, and songs featuring well-known South African artists like the multi-talented Letoya Makhene and critically-acclaimed crooner Vusi Nova singing with the Takalani Sesame muppets Neno, Kami, Moshe, Zuzu and Zikwe.

Content will be updated regularly and made available in five languages: isiZulu, Tshivenda, Sepedi, Afrikaans and English. This is in keeping with Takalani Sesame’s commitment to promoting the Department of Basic Education’s (DBE) mission for mother-tongue learning in early childhood.

The DBE’s White Paper on e-Education calls for the use of information communications technologies (ICTs) to, amongst other things, enhance learning and teaching, and to support curriculum delivery. The Takalani Sesame YouTube channel makes hours of content available that is designed to support early childhood and early primary curriculum for children from 3 to 7 years old. The content covers literacy, languages, mathematics and life skills. The Takalani Sesame YouTube content is supported by downloadable activity sheets and playgroup or classroom lessons to deepen educational outcomes. These are available on Takalani Sesame’s websites: www.earlychildhood-takalanisesame.co.za and www.takalanisesame.co.za.

The YouTube channel is yet another first in early childhood development from Takalani Sesame. The fast-growing number of South Africans from all walks of life accessing the internet, and the many early childhood care providers and classrooms, are now able to enter yet another e-learning universe. Research from Ericsson’s most recent quarterly report shows that “digital technology is fast becoming a part of everyday life in sub-Saharan Africa” and here, the internet is handset-based. From a mobile penetration rate of 70% in 2013 – the sub-Saharan Africa mobile penetration rate from where the internet is largely accessed – it will soon reach levels of 92%, similar to those levels seen internationally. Leading that pack on the African continent are South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya.

This digital technology good news is accompanied by the reality of a digital divide; the social and economic inequalities in ICT. However, as the White Paper on e-Education points out, “the digital divide is not only about connectivity and infrastructure disparities, it is also about local content development … local language content.” These and other triumphs make the Takalani Sesame YouTube channel a regular must-see offering.

The popular series airs on television every weekday on SABC 1 at 7:30am and on SABC 2 at 10am in five languages. Takalani Sesame can also be heard in many languages on various SABC radio channels and it is a digital platform with two websites, a Facebook page and a Twitter handle. This multimedia universe is complemented by groundbreaking outreach programmes. The show is brought to viewers in partnership with Sesame Workshop, the non-profit educational organisation behind Sesame Street, the Department of Basic Education (DBE), Sanlam, the SABC, and production partner Kwasukasukela.

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