ADDIS ABEBA – Ethiopia’s government has launched nine new educational TV channels on Ethiosat TV platform to enable the continuity of learning for school children who have been at home since 16 March amid COVID-19 school closures.
“Forming a crucial component of our COVID-19 education response plan, these new TV channels offer a fast, scalable solution for distance learning for Ethiopia’s school-age children,” said Getahun Mekuria, Minister of Education.
The educational channels, which will be available to broadcast in 8 languages in different regions, are available exclusively on Ethiosat TV platform as of 1st of June 2020.
Ethiosat is Ethiopia’s first dedicated TV platform launched in October 2019 by agreement between the Association of Ethiopian Broadcasters (AEB), the Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC), and SES.
Educational content for primary and secondary students is being developed by the Ministry and regional Education Bureaus with support of UNICEF and Save the Children, among others.
Adele Khodr, UNICEF Representative, said “It is our hope that these additional TV channels will support our education partners in each region to extend the reach to more and more learners”.
Eight of the new educational TV channels will be named according to the region they serve and one will be for the Ministry.
“This is a solution that not only provides continuity of learning during the COVID-19 crisis, but also strengthens the resilience of the Ethiopian educational system to respond to other crises in the future,” said Ekin Ogutogullari, Country Director for Save the Children.
From a connectivity perspective, Ferdinand Kayser, CEO of SES Video, notes that satellite connectivity is ideal for broadcasting these essential educational channels as it is the most reliable and cost-effective way to reach millions of people across a wide area.
“SES will continue to support every aspect of the COVID-19 education response operation by providing on-the-ground services to ensure uninterrupted access to these educational channels which are exclusively available on Ethiosat.
“The launch of these educational channels is in line with Ethiosat’s promise of providing relevant local content created by Ethiopians for Ethiopians on a dedicated platform,” said Kayser.
How to watch the channels
Ethiopian households should contact their local satellite antenna installer to simply re-configure the position of their home’s antenna to allow them to receive the content.
There is no need to buy a new STB or antenna, as all Ethiopian households that currently have an antenna and TV will be able to gain access to these educational channels by simply turning their dish onto Ethiosat on NSS-12 at 57E, or contacting their local trained Ethiosat installers.