Use radio school programme to bridge learning gaps caused by COVID-19, group urges government

By Lawrence Njoku, Enugu |   09 April 2020   |   3:24 am  

A non-governmental organisation, the South Saharan Social Development Organisation (SSSDO) has urged the government to use radio school programmes to reduce the impact of the education emergency necessitated by COVID-19 
 
It stated that the emergency shutdown in primary, secondary as well as universities have practically halted learning activities among students in the country, stressing that the development could increase Nigeria’s out-of-school population if not adequately handled.
 
Executive Director of the group, Dr Stanley Ilechukwu stated that it was not certain how long the students would be made to sit at home and suggested a radio school programme to bridge the learning gap among primary and secondary school students.

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He told Journalists that the radio school programme, which ran for two years in Enugu and Adamawa states between 2016 and 2018 helped to improve learning and teaching in the affected states
 
He said: “Right now, all primary and secondary schools, as well as universities have been shut, practically halting all learning activities in the country.

“As much as we understand the reason for the directive, we at SSSDO are most concerned as the duration of the closure is uncertain and children might have to stay at home for weeks and probably months. This would lead to a major disruption in learning and subsequently, affect the learning outcomes of millions of students already struggling to keep up with their studies. 

“Radio School in south Saharan’s solution to reduce the impact of the education emergency necessitated by COVID-19 –an increase in Nigeria’s out-of-school population from about 10 million to over 40 million.  

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“Radio School was initially designed to improve adolescents’ learning outcomes by providing high-quality curriculum-based lessons for Junior Secondary School 2 in basic science, civic education including basic gender studies, English Language and mathematics through the radio. It was funded by McArthur Foundation with lessons aired on radio stations in Enugu and Adamawa States between 2016 and 2018.

The end line evaluation showed great improvements in learning outcome in the pilot states. 

“We strongly believe that this model could be implemented across the entire country and serve as a solution to the current education emergency. Our repository of classes for JSS2 can be used by those currently preparing for the junior secondary school certificate examination”

He said the organisation was willing to provide technical assistance to any state that would want to implement the radio school model to engage their students during the current emergency and anytime thereafter. 
 
“We are also open to partners, who wish to support the scale-up of the radio school to cover other classes and subjects, most especially the classes that are scheduled to take national standardised examinations.

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