pakistan | sim sim hamara

Puppets coming together for early education in Pakistan.

Children’s Education Initiatives in Pakistan | Opening up early education

Accessing early childhood education is distressingly difficult in Pakistan. In a country with 65 million children under the age of 15, roughly a third of those ages 5 to 9 are not in school. For those who do attend, dropout rates are high, especially among girls: Only 22% of Pakistani girls complete their primary education.

Sim Sim Hamara, the Pakistani version of Sesame Street, brings high-quality early education to a population spanning 90 districts and five languages. With unique characters and educational messages tailored to local needs, the program focuses on literacy, math, cognitive skills, and health in a context that promotes gender equity and social inclusion.

Supported by a generous grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the popular Pakistani entertainment company Rafi Peer Theatre Workshop partnered with Sesame Workshop to create Sim Sim Hamara. The Sim Sim Hamara team also worked closely with government and other educational experts throughout the country to tailor the program to Pakistan’s unique cultural and educational needs.

The locally produced series, which is airing weekly on national Pakistani TV in Urdu and in four additional languages for regional broadcasts, is touching the lives of the millions of children for whom early education was previously out of reach.