Know Zone was the first ‘edu-tainment’ TV production if its kind in Kenya when it first aired in 2009, and was created by the leading East African production company, Mediae who are responsible for many other well known productions in the region such as Makutano Junction and Shamba Shape Up. Know Zone works to raise the educational standards of young Kenyans by improving their grasp of key literacy and numeracy syllabus requirements.
The 52-episode series’ brings to life the Kenyan school syllabus in an engaging, interactive format and strives to increase literacy, numeracy and life skills across the country. We aim to inspire children and teachers alike in a bid to improve their skills in numeracy and literacy, as well as in-country teaching capacity. Each episode focuses on learning through entertainment, with many sections of the episode broadening out to cover wildlife, health, art and performance which promotes good Life skills messages ranging from information about children’s rights and responsibilities to key health concepts and ideas. Funded by DFID, Know Zone is now in its 3rd series, which is focused on Standard 2 children. In the past we have covered Standard 6 and Standard 4. With each episode, an informational leaflet is made available to viewers. The leaflet can be requested via SMS or our Facebook page, and are used as an educational revision tool. With the Standard 2 series, these leaflets were incorporated into a booklet for easy use.
Each episode runs parallel to the terms that make us the school year, with episodes continuing throughout the holidays too. It encourages participatory teaching approaches in the classroom through the use of innovative technologies, striving to enhance student-teacher engagement and include creativity within teaching styles. Know Zone will be broadcast on national TV (Citizen TV) for 52 weeks from every Saturday at 6am. All our episodes are online on this website and on our Africa Knowledge Zone (www.africaknowledgezone.org).
All of Mediae’s work is entirely research led and research based. This has resulted in the company having unprecedented success in communicating information to large rural and peri-urban audiences, as with ‘Makutano Junction’ (10 million regular audience in East Africa, 143 episodes broadcast). Know Zone is tested using a range of research methods to assess the impact the project has on student, teachers and trainee teachers’ learning and teaching capabilities. All these pieces of research can be found on our website.