Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM), through its Wireless Reach™ initiative, and Sesame Workshop India, which spearheads the Galli Galli Sim Sim initiative in India, today 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 altogether. 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 materials. 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 platform.
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.”
About Galli Galli Sim Sim
Galli Galli Sim Sim is a multi-platform initiative that combines the power of multimedia and educational outreach to help children prepare better for school and life. Galli Galli Sim Sim facilitates young Indian children’s basic academic and life skills, while celebrating India’s rich cultural diversity, in order to promote their overall cognitive, socio-emotional and physical development.
Galli Galli Sim Sim integrates a three sixty degree strategy to reach children between the ages of 0-8, especially those that are disenfranchised and under resourced. Broadcast on two of India’s leading channels- Pogo and Cartoon Network, Galli Galli Sim Sim is further supplemented by a radio program aired on All India Radio and community radio stations, extensive community outreach, and new and emerging media such as cell phones and internet. In addition to this, we provide training and create awareness about early childhood care and education to parents, teachers and caregivers using a combination of print, audio visual and social media to ensure a continuum of learning.
The Galli Galli Sim Sim initiative is supported by Turner Broadcasting, the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, the MetLife Foundation, Qualcomm, HSBC and the SCHWAB Charitable Trust. For more information please see www.galligallisimsim.com/ www.sesameworkshop.org/aroundtheworld/india.
About Qualcomm and its Wireless Reach Initiative
Qualcomm believes access to 3G and next-generation mobile technologies can improve people’s lives. Qualcomm’s Wireless Reach initiative is a strategic program that brings wireless technology to underserved communities globally. By working with partners, Wireless Reach invests in projects that foster entrepreneurship, aid in public safety, enhance the delivery of health care, enrich teaching and learning and improve environmental sustainability. For more information, please visit www.qualcomm.com/wirelessreach.
Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) is the world leader in 3G and next-generation mobile technologies. For more than 25 years, Qualcomm ideas and inventions have driven the evolution of wireless communications, connecting people more closely to information, entertainment and each other. Today, Qualcomm technologies are powering the convergence of mobile communications and consumer electronics, making wireless devices and services more personal, affordable and accessible to people everywhere. For more information, visit Qualcomm around the Web:
Corporate Blog: www.qualcomm.com/blog