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Hikayat Simsim and road safety awareness

Hikayat Simsim has proved itself to be a leader in educational content, by introducing Road Safety as a key goal and objective for its third and fourth season’s.
This educational project is a joint production between “Jordan Pioneers Multimedia Productions” and New York’s “Sesame Workshop”. The project includes a television series, as well as educational outreach materials designed to support children, parents and educators. It is part of an initiative of the Ministry of Education within the project ERFKE, and has the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Bank of Jordan.

In an interview with Ms. Reem Zada, director of educational content and research, the following details of the project were discussed:
1-How are goals for each season defined?
Hikayat Simsim’s content and research department conducts a series of workshops and seminars that include top experts in early childhood development, content, production, research from various ministries and several public and private institutions and NGOs.
Study and research is conducted to identify educational goals and keep the curriculum for the project updated. An evaluation study was conducted on Jordanian children’s knowledge of road safety, which emanated an educational production campaign on road safety awareness.

2-What Is the work methodology followed to identify the educational goals and content with a road safety focus?
Many steps are followed:
Assemble a special committee for road safety. Members of the committee are representatives of many official agencies such as: the ministry of Education, the Central Traffic Department, Jordan Traffic Institute, the Greater Amman Municipality, the Royal Health Awareness Society, and Queen Rania Center for Educational Technology.
Look into road safety studies conducted locally, regionally and internationally.
Update the available statistics on accidents and deaths and revise general data on roads from the traffic department and the traffic institute.
Field visits.
Conduct a special focus group with children ages 4-7, studying how well they know road safety elements.
Test children’s knowledge on road safety during workshops with teachers and parents.
Analyze the results of the study and create recommendations.
Develop an educational framework for road safety awareness for the 4-7 age group, including the main points of road safety.

3-What products were produced under the road safety theme?
Educational TV episodes of Hikayat Simsim targeting the 4-7 age group were produced, along with various outreach materials like the road safety game, educational brochure, and a wall poster.
Workshops were conducted for parents and teachers to raise their awareness on road safety. Live Walk-around shows also took place in many governorates of Jordan.
4-What distinguishes Hikayat Simsim Project from other educational programs?
The Hikayat Simsim program follows the model of the parent company “Sesame Workshop”, which is based on the integral relationship between research and educational content and production. Production and development is based on ongoing studies conducted for the materials in three stages: pre-production, with the purpose of setting the goals and studies; production, and post- production, which ensures the quality and effectiveness of the printed and produced material and its educational impact.

5-What would you like to say to people who are interested in road safety?
The joining of efforts between the Hikayat Simsim project and other institutions interested in road safety will have a significant impact. It is vital to adopt a unified, comprehensive educational framework for the development of educational materials. These materials will help target children and seize opportunities available for the display of safe practices and patterns of positive behavior accordingly.
Let our slogan be: “Let’s work together to foster a generation that is conscious and committed to the rules of road safety.”

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