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Inside Move: Big Bird lands in Afghanistan

'Sesame' to be shown in classrooms, women's centers, traveling vans

Big Bird has alighted in Kabul to help rout the remnants of Taliban teaching.

A specially adapted version of “Sesame Street” will be shown in schools and other settings throughout Afghanistan, thanks to a Sesame Workshop/Rand Corp. initiative.

Afghan government officials accepted the first of 400 multimedia educational outreach kits last week.

Each “Koche Sesame” kit offers 10 videotaped episodes dubbed into Dari. The 20-minute segments also contain a teacher handbook illustrating ways to use the tapes as an educational tool, plus a poster and school supplies.

While most of the “Koche Sesame” episodes will be shown in classrooms, some will be available for viewing at women’s centers and orphanages and in traveling vans.

Videos also will be shown on national and provincial television, but few Afghan families have sets — or even electricity.

“Because of the Taliban’s repressive regime, a large majority of Afghan children have little or no educational background,” Rand political scientist Cheryl Benard says. “This material has been assembled specifically to address the needs of a post-conflict society.”