The broadcast of Radio School, an educational programme, aimed at complementing teaching of English language, mathematics, basic science and civic education in Nigerian secondary schools will begin on Monday in Enugu State, South East Nigeria and Adamawa State, North East Nigeria.
The programme is targeted at pupils in Junior Secondary School Class 2 through the power of the radio and would be aired during school hours to enable all pupils to participate in it and supervised by their teachers.
Conceived and co-created by the South Saharan Social Development Organisation, SSDO, the programme will be on air Monday to Friday from 11.45 to 12.45 and 1.30pm to 2pm and on Saturday 11am to 12.30pm on Radio Nigeria, Enugu.
The Executive Director of the SSDO, Mrs Grace Nwobodo, told Voice of Nigeria in Enugu that the programme would be the pilot edition and would run for two sessions.
She said: “The idea behind the Radio School is the gaps we noticed in the standard of education and the need to fill those gaps.”
Radio sets distributed
On Friday, the SSDO distributed two radio sets to principals of each of the 292 secondary and 31 science, technical and vocational schools in Enugu State for the commencement of the programme.
The event, which took place at the Jucony Hotel and Resort Nsukka, Enugu State, saw all principals of secondary school receiving the radio sets on behalf of their schools.
The radio sets are powered by rechargeable batteries to ensure that electricity supply would not inhibit the listening to and learning from the programme even in the rural areas.
The programme would be broadcast on 82.8 AM/MW band of Radio Nigeria, Enugu.
Mrs Nwobodo explained that the medium wave band of the station was chosen because its signals travel by ground wave and would cover all schools in the 17 councils of Enugu State.
In Adamawa State, North East Nigeria, the Radio School would be broadcast on a private radion station.
Mrs Nwobodo explained that the Radio School would be intra-curricular to enable teachers of the subjects to supervise listening to the broadcast of the lessons during the school period and to answer questions that the students may ask.
She said they had planned it as an extra-curricular lesson on radio, but that the Commissioner for Education in Enugu State, Professor Uche Eze, insisted that it must be during school hours for effective supervision.
She said teachers of the subjects to be taught on radio school were selected and trained on “radio presentation skills and how to use the microphone to teach their lessons.”
Mrs Nwobodo said the McArthur Foundation provided funding for the programming.
She said that the McArthur Foundation insisted that Adamawa State must be included in the pilot programme to target adolescent boys and girls in the internally displaced persons camps.
She also explained that the SSDO worked with the Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu to produce the programme.
Explaining the concept and strategies for running it, the Team Leader of the SSDO, Brian Onwura, said the organisation worked with experts on educational broadcasting from the Netherlands with whom the programme was co-created and co-produced.
“We brought people from the Netherlands who made us identify the most convenient way to package the programmes. They taught us how to make the lessons more interesting; how to make more exciting and engaging and how to make it more interactive between the teachers and the students.”
According to him, a lot of effort and funds went into the creation and production of the lessons to ensure that they meet the accepted standards.
On how to track and monitor the programme, Mrs Nwobodo said the SSDO has assigned an officer to monitor and evaluate to programme and give feedback on its effectiveness to the organisation.
The Commissioner for Education, Enugu State, Professor Uche Eze, who delivered the keynote address at the distribution of the radio sets advised principals of secondary schools to work for the success of the programme.
Also speaking, the Chairman, All Nigeria Congress of Principals of Secondary Schools, ANCOPSS, Enugu State, Mr Livinus Ezea, said he was optimistic the radio school would improve teaching and learning in Enugu State, pointing out that “when a child is exposed to any form of learning, he would gain something from it.”