General

New Early Childhood Development TV Series Launched with the Support of Japan

The Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES), the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism (MICT) and UNICEF launched a new Early Childhood Development (ECD) TV series aimed at young children which integrates in Vientiane on Sep 25, 2020.

This new TV series consisting of ten episodes builds upon the success of My Village, ECD TV, and will be broadcast through Lao National Television, Lao Star TV Channel and the MoES TV Channel – ESTV on LaoSat Channel 8 and provincial television stations. The episodes, produced with the support of the government of Japan as part of the COVID-19 response, will also be disseminated on social media and YouTube.

“Children who are engaged in formal and non-formal early childhood education (ECE), learning and developmental opportunities are more likely to enroll on time in primary education and be better prepared for formal schooling. It is our hope that My House will contribute to the school readiness of young Lao children and increase their awareness about good hygiene practices,” said Vice-Minister of Education and Sports Khanthally Siriphongphanh.

Entirely produced in the Lao PDR, the TV series feature Lao characters – Khamhou, an 8-year-old boy who is in primary, Khamla, a 5-year-old girl in pre-school who plays the role of the youngest sister. The main characters also include father, mother and grand-mother. The music and story context are also typically Lao. This project has brought together some of the most talented, open-minded and creative local media and has engaged young people, building their capacity.

“We are extremely happy with the final product which is the result of a great collaboration among the MOES, MICT, Lao National television, Lao Star, the animation team and UNICEF, with the support of the government of Japan. Throughout the ten episodes, children will learn how to stay safe and healthy during the pandemic while they gain some other basic knowledge including alphabets, numbers, colours, shapes and the names of flowers and animals, among many other things,” stated Mr. Vansy Kuamoua, Vice-Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism.

My House will also contribute to the development of the physical, cognitive, social and emotional development of children including problem solving, coping with difficult circumstances, ability to work with others, imagination, responsibility and dealing with emotions. Very importantly, children will learn all these skills while having fun.

In the earliest years, children’s brains form new connections at an astounding rate. In the brain-building process, neural connections are shaped by genes and life experiences, namely good nutrition and stimulation from talk, play and responsive attention from caregivers. This combination of nature and nurture establishes the foundation of a child’s future.

“This is why My House is so important because by stimulating children’s brains through play, it is contributing to give them the best start in life. We encourage parents to watch My House with their young children, then talk to them about what they have seen and use this to stimulate further their child’s development. Parents can also learn a lot from the TV series,” explained UNICEF Representative to the Lao PDR Pia Rebello Britto, while adding that this TV series shows the importance the government gives to early childhood development.

The right interventions at the right time can bolster development, break intergenerational cycles of inequity and provide a fair start in life for every child. For babies born into deprivation, intervening early, when the brain is rapidly developing, can reverse harm and help build resilience.

Investing in early childhood development is a cost-effective way to boost shared prosperity, promote inclusive economic growth, expand equal opportunity, and end extreme poverty. Global evidence shows that for every US$1 spent on early childhood development, the return on investment can be as high as US$13.

Source: Lao News Agency