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Ethiopian children's TV wins again

06-11-2009 (Tokyo)
Ethiopian children's TV wins again
Creators of Tsehai Loves Learning
© Whiz Kids Workshop
The creators of Tsehai Loves Learning win the UNESCO prize for a new literacy-focused programme at the Japan Prize 2009 International Contest for Educational Media.
Whiz Kids Workshop, the creators of Tsehai Loves Learning, won another award at this year’s Japan Prize 2009 International Contest for Educational Media. Previously a winner of the preschool category at Japan Prize 2008 and a laureate of numerous other international awards for their work on Tsehai Loves Learning, Whiz Kids Workshop receives recognition of its future plans with this year’s award. The prestigious UNESCO prize awarded Tsehai’s Fidel School as the best proposal for a future TV programme that promotes literacy. Tsehai’s Fidel School attempts to teach Ethiopia’s Amharic alphabet in a fun and systematic way, with the help of the popular children’s character Tsehai.

The annual competition at Japan Prize calls upon television broadcasters and production companies in countries with limited means to submit their ideas for educational programmes. Whiz Kids Workshop’s proposal for Tsehai’s Fidel School was selected as one of five finalists from 30 entries received from all over the world.

At the Japan Prize festival, the five finalists presented their show ideas to a panel of judges made up of children’s educational media experts from around the globe. Whiz Kids Workshop co-founders Bruktawit Tigabu and Shane Etzenhouser attended the event in Japan to present their ideas.

According to Mrs Tigabu, “research indicates that children stay in school longer when they enter school prepared”. She believes that Tsehai’s Fidel School, which is the result of five years of research and creative thinking about the best way to teach the alphabet, will significantly contribute to raise the quality of education.

“I remember how difficult it was learning the alphabet in 1st grade,” continued Mrs Tigabu, “I’ve always wanted to help make learning the alphabet more enjoyable. As the leading educational media organization in Ethiopia, we’re anxious to contribute to improving the educational system. It is very encouraging that global experts in educational media have approved our ideas. We hope it will help us build partnerships with the Ministry of Education or other organizations committed to children’s education in Ethiopia, so that we can make this idea a reality.”

At the award ceremony, Mrs Tigabu and Mr Etzenhouser were honoured to meet and discuss their efforts with His Imperial Highness Crown Prince Naruhito, heir apparent to the Japanese throne. Mrs Tigabu also met with His Imperial Highness at the award ceremony for Japan Prize 2008.

The UNESCO Office in Addis Ababa has been a long-standing supporter of Whiz Kids Workshop’s efforts and has assisted them regularly with capacity building programmes. The UNESCO award at Japan Prize 2009 was decided upon by an independent panel of judges and awarded by the National Federation of UNESCO Associations in Japan.

The Japan Prize was established in 1965 by Japanese public broadcaster NHK. The annual festival honours the top educational programmes worldwide.

Whiz Kids Workshop is an Ethiopian production company that focuses on serving children through educational media.

For more information on this story you can contact:

  • Bruktawit Tigabu and Shane Etzenhouser, Whiz Kids Workshop co-founders, or
  • Noboru Noguchi, Director General, National Federation of UNESCO Associations in Japan.
  • Ethiopian children's TV wins again Winners of Japan Prize 2009
    © Whiz Kids Workshop

    Related themes/countries

          · Ethiopia
          · Youth and ICT
          · Information and Media Literacy
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