Qualcomm and Sesame Workshop India to assist underserved migrant children


Qualcomm through its Wireless Reach initiative, and
Sesame Workshop India, which spearheads the Galli Galli Sim Sim initiative in
India, announced the launch of the Radiophone project.  


The initiative combines community radio with mobile
phones to expand access to quality educational experiences for children,
particularly children of migrant populations that reside in Gurgaon, a suburb
of New Delhi.


Migrant labor communities are among India’s most
marginalized populations.  For children of migrant workers, migration
means being uprooted from their homes, leaving their schools, moving to
different states and having problems accessing schools at their new location.


Many of these children are unable to benefit from
government or NGO-run schools. This problem of access is further compounded by
language and social barriers.  As a result, too many migrant children
attend poor quality schools that fail to address their needs or drop out


According to a study conducted by the United Nations
Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, research shows that quality
education during early years plays a vital part in promoting readiness for
school and is also the best guarantee of promoting sustainable economic and
social development.


Galli Galli Sim Sim is a multi-platform initiative
that combines the power of multimedia and educational outreach to help young
children prepare for school and life.  Galli Galli Sim Sim integrates a
three hundred and sixty degree strategy to reach children between the ages of
zero to eight, especially those that are disenfranchised and under resourced.


Independent third party research commissioned by Galli
Galli Sim Sim indicated that children who are exposed to the initiative’s
interventions demonstrate greater gains in educational and developmental
outcomes than those who are not.


Galli Galli Sim Sim’s Radiophone project is the first of
its kind and seeks to bring together emerging technologies and community voices
in a bid to provide access and opportunity to marginalized populations.


Piloting in Gurgaon, the project has three main
components: the development and broadcast of high quality educational radio
content relevant to and reflecting community issues, especially those of
marginalized communities; enabling increased access of this content to
communities through integration with a 3G enabled platform; and an in-school
program that leverages the radio broadcast within school learning materials.


The radio show format is designed to deliver content that
can be localized and replicated across community radio stations.
Initially, the Galli Galli Sim Sim show will be broadcast on Gurgaon Ki
Awaaz Samudayik Radio Station to an estimated 30,000 listeners.


With a grant from Wireless Reach, Galli Galli Sim Sim is
developing and broadcasting the community radio show and enabling its
integration with the 3G platform.  Using 3G technology, this broadcast
also will be made available to populations residing in radio dark areas.  


Participating families, with children between the ages of
four to eight, will be provided with 3G-enabled mobile phones and 3G wireless
connectivity.  Using a preloaded shortcut on the phones, families will be
able to access Galli Galli Sim Sim community radio broadcasts and additional
educational materials consisting of videos, songs, stories and other print


Families will have access to high quality, age
appropriate, educational content for their preschool age children who,
otherwise, would lack access to schools and formal education.  


In addition, the families will be trained on how to use
the mobile phones and research will be conducted to track usage patterns and
impact.  This pilot also will study the scalability and sustainability of
both the radio show format and its increased distribution through the mobile


A third component of the project is an in-school program
that is supported separately by HSBC.   Thirty classrooms will be provided
mobile phones with speakers, enabling classes to listen to the Galli Galli Sim
Sim radio program.  Related in-classroom print materials will allow
teachers to reinforce on-air activities, and an impact evaluation of the school
intervention also will be conducted.


“Our Galli Galli Sim Sim initiative is a proven
model for educational delivery in India,” said Sashwati Banerjee, managing
trustee of Sesame Workshop India Trust. “With the expansion of this
initiative into community radio and mobile phones, we are building an
innovative and sustainable model that can be replicated to bring quality, early
learning experiences to disadvantaged children throughout all of India.”


“3G wireless technologies offer new opportunities to
dramatically improve learning, particularly among disadvantaged children,”
said Shawn A. Covell, vice president for Qualcomm Government Affairs.
“The Radiophone project is a powerful example of how 3G mobile
phones and wireless connectivity can help bridge the digital divide and promote
social inclusion in India and throughout the world.”


Qualcomm recently announced that it has acquired certain assets from GestureTek, a developer of gesture recognition technology.
GestureTek has more than 25 years of experience implementing gesture-based
technologies in mobile devices, entertainment facilities, healthcare systems,
retail locations, and public and private venues.


The acquisition gives Qualcomm ownership of certain
intellectual property assets related to gesture recognition, as well as key
engineering resources.  GestureTek is retaining other assets in
continuation of its gesture-controlled public display and digital signage


By Telecomlead.com Team
[email protected]