Ubongo Kids

Ubongo Kids is an interactive educational TV program that delivers math and science lessons to students through entertaining stories and songs. Viewers can "interact" with the show's characters through short assessments on their mobile phones.

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Ubongo Kids, an interactive educational cartoon broadcast on national TV in Tanzania, leverages existing technological infrastructure to deliver math and science lessons to millions of viewers. The show, which so far consists of two 13-episode seasons about math and science, targets children between the ages of 7 and 12. Ubongo Kids has versions in both English and Kiswahili. 

In order to help students find fun in learning, Ubongo uses original songs and stories and encourages student interaction with the show’s characters through SMS. Students can text in responses to questions posed on the show; after the show has ended, they can request more questions. When the students answer a certain number of questions correctly, they receive a congratulatory call or text from the show’s characters, encouraging them to continue learning. 

The program does not cover a comprehensive curriculum as it serves as a supplement to in-class learning. The creators select topics after discussions with teachers and parents. The show focuses on problem topics — those students especially struggle with — and threshold topics — those that are essential to understand for students to move through a curriculum (i.e. the concept of a decimal).

To distribute the program, Ubongo Ltd. develops partnerships with TV stations to get the best time slot to reach the most children. It also works with corporate sponsors and NGOs for certain episodes, such as the UN in an episode that included a public service announcement about human rights. 

Instead of providing hardware (laptops, tablets, etc.) with no educational content to accompany it, Ubongo focuses on delivering content on as many existing platforms as possible.

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