15.10.2008 -

Educational children's media in Ethiopia gets a boost

UNESCO and Whiz Kids Workshop cooperate to increase the diversity and quality of children's media content in local Ethiopian languages.

The producers of the internationally acclaimed Ethiopian children's programme 'Tsehai Loves Learning' are training Ethiopian youths to produce animated, quality, educational children's content with the support of UNESCO's International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC).


"We share with UNESCO the goal of increasing the languages and cultures represented in children's programming in Ethiopia, be it 'Tsehai Loves Learning' or other children's content," declared Whiz Kids Workshop co-founder Bruktawit Tigabu.


Five students, three males and two females, were selected from more than 400 applications from across Ethiopia. These students represent diverse ethnic groups (Amhara, Tigray, Oromo, and Hadiya) and religious faiths.


The training, which has been under development for more than two years, is leading students through an intensive two-month programme on all aspects of the creation of educational children's video production, including child development, curriculum, research, audio and video production, and basic animation. "We spent more than three months developing, revising and improving the new course curriculum. Our approach is very hands-on: by the end of the training each student will have completed a new episode of 'Tsehai Loves Learning,'" said Tigabu.


This is the most recent cooperation between UNESCO and Whiz Kids Workshop. This partnership has included the production of 'Tsehai Loves Learning' episodes, participation in global training and media events that address critical development issues such as HIV and AIDS, education, and local content creation. "UNESCO was our first partner and continues to be the most consistent one in bringing educational content to the children of Ethiopia," said Whiz Kids Workshop co-founder Shane Etzenhouser.


"The five episodes produced during the training empower children to raise-up their voices and create a better Ethiopia, just as the training itself empowers the students to raise-up their voices for a better world for Ethiopia's children," said Etzenhouser. According to Tigabu, "in addition to television, the new episodes of 'Tsehai Loves Learning' will be released in cinema halls and other community forums to widen their impact."


Whiz Kids Workshop is a local production company that focuses on serving Ethiopia through educational media. Their educational programme "Tsehai Loves Learning" was recently awarded the "Next Generation Prize" at the Prix Jeunesse International Children's Television Festival in Munich, Germany.

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