Sesame Workshop Bangladesh, the producer of favorite children’s program Sisimpur, is launching Safe Internet and Early Childhood Development, an initiative to promote a safe internet environment for young children by increasing access to and awareness of safe online Internet spaces. Sesame Workshop Bangladesh will also develop and share engaging content on Sisimpur’s learning platforms as part of the initiative, which will reach children across Bangladesh.
According to recent research by Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) in 2021, around 30 percent of children face different types of abuse in virtual platforms and 8 percent of them encounter sexual harassment. The new initiative, which is funded by the Internet Society Foundation (ISF), will seek to create safe online spaces for children and promote safe practices. As part of the 2-year initiative, Sesame Workshop Bangladesh will conduct research on children’s safety in the virtual world and best practices for online education platforms.
State Minister for Information & Communication Technology Zunaid Ahmed Palak inaugurated the new initiative at a virtual event on 31st January, Monday. Among others, Guilherme Gonsales Rocca e Souza, Grant Specialist, ISF, Dr. BM Mainul Hossain, Associate Professor, Information & Technology Institute, Dhaka University, Sabila Enun, Director, DCASTALIA, and Mohammad Shah Alam, Managing Director of Sesame Workshop Bangladesh, joined the event with. Representatives from relevant government agencies, ICT experts, content developers, ECD specialists, and academics also took part.
As part of the initiative, Sesame Workshop Bangladesh will develop guidelines for parents and caregivers to promote safe internet practices with their children. Additionally, Sesame Workshop Bangladesh will design a new mobile game on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) related topics, as well as new storybooks and digital materials for schools across Bangladesh.
Under this program, beloved Sisimpur friends like Tuktuki, Halum, Shiku, and Ikri will participate in an awareness campaign to promote safe internet practices.