egypt | alam simsim

Teaching millions of curious little minds to reach high and aim big.

Children’s Education Initiatives in Egypt | Important lessons for boys…and girls

Alam Simsim addresses the pressing educational and developmental needs of Egyptian children — girls as well as boys.

Premiering in August 2000, our local Egyptian version of Sesame Street has since reached nearly 12 million children1, making it among the top 5 most-watched children’s television shows in Egypt.2 Created with input from Egyptian educators, child development experts, writers, and filmmakers, the show’s curriculum spans literacy, math, life skills, health awareness, and girls’ education. The learning continues at home and in the classroom through educational outreach materials.

Lessons come to life through humor, music, fantasy, and locally developed characters like Khokha — an ambitious girl Muppet who inspires girls as well as boys to pursue their academic interests. Read more about Khokha. Little Khokha’s aspirations are having a measurable impact: 4- to- 6-year old children who watch Egypt’s Alam Simsim do much better on gender equity measures than those who don’t. In fact, the scores of 6-year-olds who watch frequently are twice as high as those who watch less. Furthermore, exposure to the series provides as high an impact achievement in math, literacy and gender attitudes as a child’s socioeconomic background.3

WIth 10 successful seasons and 280 episodes produced, Alam Simsim continues to stay on air on Al Mehwer Channel during this turbulent time in Egypt. The show looks to continue to prepare children fro school and give them the best possible chance of success through pre-school educational content.

Major support for Alam Simsim was provided by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Mobinil.

1 2007 Synovate Study on Alam Simsim and 2011 International Census Data: K2-8 Audience Estimation.
2 Eurodata TV/TNS TV Diary Egypt. Jan.-Apr. 2008, M-Su all day programs – based on the top telecast of the program. Kids 4-6.
3 Average gender equity score of 6-yr.-olds with high exposure to the show is 3.2 out of 4 vs. 1.6 out of 4 for those with low exposure. Rajiv, R.N., Fieguero, M.E., & Federowicz, M. (2006). Impact of Alam Simsim among 4-to-6-year-olds in Egypt: Effects on math ability, literacy skills, and gender attitudes. Baltimore, MD. Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs.