“Sisimpur”, the program that embarked on television aiming to turn the learning into more enjoyable experience for pre-primary and primary level children, has completed 17 years and steps on the 18 th year on this 15 April. Every year, the 15 April is celebrated as “Sisimpur Day” as it was the very first day of broadcasting Sisimpur.
With the help of the television show and printed materials, Sisimpur helps children with identifying letters, identifying letters from words, matching words with letters, creating sentences with words. They also use the the materials from the the surrounding environment and help identify the colors and words through them. For example, the beginning letters of the words such as house, banana, mango, table, clock, cow, tree, leaf, pen, book etc. are taught through play.
Through the characters of Sisimpur, different elements of the environment such as colors, shapes, etc. are taught. The accurate pronunciation of Bangla language has always been regarded as an essential matter at Sisimpur. That is why, all the Sisimpur Muppets, human characters and even in the animation episodes the Standard Bangla pronunciation has been especially emphasized so that the children get sufficient exposure to Standard Bangla language and can practice as well. At the same time the dialects, cultures and life-styles of different areas are also portrayed. So, the children learn to show respect towards various cultures and dialects which are different than theirs.
At present, the 14th Season of Sisimpur is being telecasted. This popular television program is shown in BTV, Duranta TV and Machranga TV. From the onset of this endeavor, Bangladesh Television has been broadcasting Sisimpur program relentlessly for last 17 years which is a remarkable fact. This is a result of the cordial efforts by Ministry of Women and Children’s Affair of Bangladesh and the Authority of Bangladesh Television and Sisimpur. About 10 million population of the country is enjoying the program through three television channels.
Sisimpur has become the attraction for the children at the Amar Ekushey Book Fair. During the weekends of Book Fair, the Fridays and Saturdays, a great number of children splash towards the fair to spend fun time with Ikri, Halum, Tuktuki and Shiku. This has already become an integral part of the Amar Ekushey Book Fair.
Regarding the accomplishment of 17 years’ journey, the Managing Director of Sisimpur, Mohammad Shah Alam says that for sixteen years, this program is being created to meet the early education needs of 3 to 8 years old children. And the goal is also to meet the needs of the parents, caregivers and teachers. Through joyfulness and play, Sisimpur plays an integral role in the holistic development of the child. To mention some of them, there are: Language-letters; Mathematics; Environment; Gender equality; Social values and behavior; Tolerance and respect for differences and diversity. There is also, balanced and nutritious food; Healthy Habits; Earthquake; Road safety and drowning related water safety; building awareness against injury prevention; Giving ideas about income-expense and savings to children. It includes our art-culture and heritage, and many more.
Sisimpur also emphasizing more on showing mutual respect, affection, admiration towards unity and diversity among the cultures as well as the people of the country.
Sesame Workshop Bangladesh operates all its activities jointly through public, private and international organizations. In the last 17 years, Sisimpur collaborated with the Government of Bangladesh through the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, Ministry of Culture etc. Sisimpur started its journey through a funding provided by USAID and the support from USAID is persisted till today.
Sisimpur is the Bangladeshi counterpart of New York-based educational television series Sesame Street which is co-produced in Bangladesh through Sesame Workshop Bangladesh.