Pakistan Gets to 'Sesame Street' Through $20M USAID Funding

A Sesame Street toy. The U.S. Agency for International Development is reportedly set to fund a Pakistani version of "Sesame Street." Photo by: Fil.Al / CC BY

The U.S. Agency for International Development is reportedly set to fund the Pakistani version of the classic U.S. children’s show “Sesame Street” to help lift the Islamic country’s sagging educational system.

The Pakistani series, which will reportedly get $20 million in funds from USAID, will be set in a local village with a roadside tea and snack stall. The characters will primarily be speaking Urdu. 

The Pakistani school system is in bad shape and cited as the reason behind the country’s religious conservatism and economic decline, the Guardian notes.

“The idea is to prepare and inspire a child to go on the path of learning, and inspire the parents of the child to think that the child must be educated,” said Faizaan Peerzada, the chief operating officer of the Rafi Peer Theater Workshop, as quoted by the Guardian. “This is a very serious business, the education of the children of Pakistan at a critical time.” 

The Lahore-based theater group will produce the show in collaboration with Sesame Workshop, the U.S. program’s creator.

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About the author

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    Louie-An Pilapil

    Louie-An is a former senior development analyst at Devex Manila. She has held consulting and editorial positions at the Asian Development Bank in Manila and a business-to-business media company in Hong Kong and mainland China.

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