Early childhood education is an urgent developmental issue to be solved in Tanzania, where less than half of children receive any formal education before entering primary school at age of six. With so many challenges to deliver early education in Tanzania (and across Africa), mass media presents a unique opportunity to reach tens of millions of families with educational media for their young children.

Ubongo is a Tanzanian social enterprise that creates interactive edutainment for learners in Africa, delivered to them via the technologies they already have. While working with caregivers and early childhood development (ECD) stakeholders in Tanzania, Ubongo Kids identified the need and gaps for caregiver awareness-raising and behavior change.

During this pilot project, Ubongo created Akili and Me – an edutainment cartoon and radio series that effectively teaches children aged three to six years early numeracy, literacy, English as a second language, and fine motor skills.

An evaluation of the programme, conducted in partnership with the University of Maryland, found that:

  • The programme had a significant effect on school readiness for both girls and boys aged three to six years.
  • Both girls and boys who watched the Akili and Me show scored 16 per cent better in overall school readiness than those who did not watch it.
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