One of South Africa’s biggest television programmes will remain on the screen as it received an extension of life at an event in Johannesburg recently. Thanks to a partnership involving the Department of Basic Education, SABC, Sanlam and the Sesame Workshop, Takalane Sesame will continue to make an impact in the lives of young learners. As a result of the partnership season 6-9 has been produced and aligned to the DBE’s early childhood development goals.
Takalani Sesame is based on the US series Sesame Street. The programme is a uniquely South African interpretation of the Sesame model engaging children and their parents and promoting basic school readiness, literacy, numeracy, and health and hygiene. Takalani Sesame also has a special focus on HIV and AIDS awareness and seeks to introduce HIV and AIDS safety while promoting tolerance and reducing stigma.
Speaking at the launch of the new season in Johannesburg on Tuesday, 27 August, Marie-Louise Samuels, Director for Early Childhood Development at the DBE hailed the continuation of the project. Takalane Sesame was first initiated in 1998.
“In 1997 Children’s Television Network (now known as Sesame Workshop) was awarded a USAID grant to ‘help educate the children of South Africa by developing with South African partners a multi-media educational children’s project based on the CTW educational television series Sesame Street’,” said Samuels. “The agreement between CTW and the DoE was signed in 1998 which expressed the shared commitment to work together to support the DoE’s curriculum. “The rest is history”.
“Early Childhood Education is the engine of lifelong learning. The programme is designed to support the curriculum. The central focus is to help children learn in a stimulating, fun and exciting way. Increasing access to quality multimedia educational programme [like Takalani Sesame] will indeed take us to the next level.”
Anita Stewart, a representative of the Sesame Workshop, indicated that the new series of the show would have a particular focus on languages, literacy, maths and science.
“We have worked with a team of local researchers and education experts for over 10 years to create resources which focus on celebrating and fostering the potential of every child,” said Ms Stewart.
“For over 40 years Sesame Workshop has been committed to developing innovative, engaging, and educational content grounded in extensive research that reaches children, parents, teachers and caregivers.”
The new season has a fresh look, but still features the same familiar faces; Zuzu, Neno, Zikwe, Moshe and Kami. Each episode will centre around a new word in the “Word on the Street” feature, exposing viewers to the word in five different languages. The word “AMAZING” was introduced at the launch by the muppets.
Takalani Sesame Season 6 went on air on 2 September 2013 and will air every weekday on SABC 1 at 7h30 am and SABC 2 at 10h00 am.