The Ethiopian Folktale Campaign - Learning and preserving culture through English
Client: British Council Sub Saharan Africa
Many developing economies in Africa including countries like Ethiopia are increasingly recognising the economic value of learning English to improve language skills and contribute to individuals’ personal growth and global competitiveness. Learning English empowers societies with access to global information. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the learning of more than 1.5 billion students. The British Council recognised the need to provide access to learning English programmes, to boost the stability, skills and prosperity of young children while preserving Ethiopian culture through storytelling. The Ethiopian Folktale Programme, an English learning campaign was broadcast in collaboration with the Ethiopian Education Ministry and Ye Ethiopia Lijoch TV. The channel is the only 24-hour children's programming channel available in Ethiopia with an estimated viewership of over 5 million. The English Learning television programme featured local teachers narrating stories of history, culture and heritage to children through the English language using voice, video, audio and illustration. The Ethiopian Folktale campaign used broadcast media to offer complementary lessons in support of local curriculum content using innovative responses, especially in public education systems to ensure continued learning and teaching for children and youth during Covid-19 disruptions. The campaign empowered the young generation with valuable Ethiopian heritage to ensure it is not forgotten, while giving them access to high-quality and engaging English language learning opportunities.