Friday Review

Learning with fun

A still from the show   | Photo Credit: 13dfr Galli Galli Sim Sim 1

Making its debut in 2006, Galli Galli Sim Sim (GGSS) has proved its popularity with its Season 7 being aired on Doordarshan National from the last month. The content and format of the show is a useful tool for moulding the impressionable minds of children from two to eight years old. Delving on this aspect, Sashwati Banerjee, Managing Director, Sesame Workshop India, the co-producer of the show in association with RedDot Productions, explains, “Ninety per cent of brain development in a child takes place in the first six years. Hence, it is imperative to provide the child with stimulus which is age and developmentally appropriate. High quality education is a precursor to life long learning skills.”

Qualifying “GGSS 7” as edutainment, Sashwati says, “We educate as we entertain” highlighting that it covers the areas, including emotional and physical well being, cognitive and social skills, cultural diversity and executive functioning skills, preparing the child for school and more importantly life. “The quality of early childhood education in India is low necessitating its upgradation to prepare the future generation with skills to meet the requirements of the 21st Century which goes beyond the 3Rs.”

How is the ongoing programme different from the previous ones? “The format is slightly different. Its multiple segments include new ones. Executive functioning has been introduced in this show besides covering the usual subjects like literacy, numeracy, physical well being and sanitation.” Elaborating on another novelty that is featuring seven variations of foot-tapping Bollywood songs, she adds, “We have used tunes with altered child-friendly lyrics. The reason being part of popular culture they are relatable.”

The song “It’s the time to disco” from “Kal Ho Na Ho” has been adapted to “It’s time to uchlo”, thereby focussing on exercising. Similarly, the tune of “Darling” from “Saat Khoon Maaf” has been used to stress on eating healthy food. The favourite muppets Chamki, Googly, Boombah, Aanchoo, Khadoosa and Hero –– the prime drivers of the show, continue along with new ones like Elmo. “Children relate to them. They also assume a positive role model reinforcing gender equity, non-violence, etc,” comments Sashwati. Included this season are talking book, talking frog and an all-new human cast –– Aamir, Pia Aunty, Doctor Didi with engaging stories that teach about sharing, making friends, healthy habits and task persistence.

Other highlights, include Grover searching for new words and moving to the sky in Super Grover 2.0 to teach concepts around science, technology, engineering and mathematics while the Bert and Ernie animation segments take up pre-numeracy and maths concepts. The Elmo and Parents segment models strategies and behaviours to address topics like bullying, self-esteem and confidence using vocabulary to express oneself, reflecting on the feelings on others and learning strategies for responding to academic or social and emotional challenges.

Though the episodes from the earlier seasons dubbed in Gujarati and Marathi will be aired on Doordarshan’s regional channels, Sashwati points out that “lack of funds and talent for dubbing in other regional languages” make it difficult to provide in other vernacular.

Hope other broadcasters, including the private ones, step in to take this programme available to children across the country in a language which they naturally grasp.

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2021 8:29:20 AM |

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