“My favourite channel is Jim Jam and Disney and I enjoyed playing with Spongebob at the party, because I only see him on TV,” says Jimmy excitedly. “I like Dora the explorer, because it teaches me how to count and find objects,” joins Vivian in the joyous chorus.
The two were among children who recently attended Joyful Noise when MultiChoice Namibia (MCN) hosted a DSTV and GoTV kiddies’ party to celebrate Kiddies’ Month, a day after the commemoration of the Day of the African Child.
Joyful Noise is an indoor playground at Maerua Mall, where children are treated to fun and games related to educational content, which includes a Supa Strika football pitch, a Dora the Explorer jungle gym and paw patrol slide.
The children were allowed to have their faces painted as some of their favourite characters and were treated to snacks, including Sofia the First cupcakes and a Jake and the Monster Machine Cake. The little ones also had an opportunity to meet some of their favourite cartoon characters, including Spongebob and Ben 10.
MCN recognises that education remains a priority in Namibia. Therefore, through different educational and children’s channels, it enables kids to learn about critical subjects, such as physics, finance, culture and chemistry.
Channel Ed (DSTV Channel 190) and GoTV (Channel 65) brings together the learned and the learning, so that young minds access the world’s leading minds in an interactive and vibrant arena involving innovations and discovery.
Namibian educational psychologist Sandra van Schalkwyk outlined some of the benefits of educational television and how it can boost intellectual development: “Pre-school children who watched a few hours a week of educational programming are known to perform better on achievement tests over time than their peers who watch more general entertainment shows.”
“According to research, each year, children’s reading, math and vocabulary skills were assessed. Researchers found that younger children, especially those aged two and three, who watched a few hours a week of educational programmes had higher scoring on academic tests three years later than children who did not watch the programmes.” says van Schalkwyk.
In support of constructive TV viewing habits, she explains that some TV shows can educate, inform and inspire and can be more effective than books or audiotapes in teaching your kid about processes like how a plant grows or how to bake a cake.
Van Schalkwyk cautions that even though there are benefits to educational television, parents are urged to use television intelligently and not to ignore what their children are watching.
As parental supervision is key for maximising the potential benefits of TV, MultiChoice Namibia follows an internationally recognised standard for age restricted ratings on programming, based on accepted international standards.
Decoders also have the ability to block out different levels of content to ensure that parents are able to control their children’s viewing.