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Pre-recorded radio class sessions

Run pre-recorded class sessions on radio

Photo of edith tendo
3 3

Written by

I am a.....

  • Social Worker

Tell us about your idea

In Uganda, majority of learners are in rural communities and in public schools. These come from poverty stricken households and their education is fundamental in determining whether they break the family chain of illiteracy and poverty or not. There are also many children who cannot afford the school requirements like books, shoes among others, who therefore stay home. These account for the 1 in every 10 children who have never been to school and the more than 22% who have dropped out. In rural communities these statistics are worse. The situation has further been worsened by Covid 19 pandemic. There are many children who are going to drop out of school or whose chances of enrolling have been compromised by the pandemic.

The idea is to work with teachers to record class sessions for primary and secondary school pupils and have these aired over radio during identified times where the pupils are at home and able to listen in and learn. The idea is to ensure that children can learn from home as well as offer an education opportunity to those who would rather have not been able to attend school for lack of basic requirements. Parents would be sensitised about the program and therefore encouraged to allow children to listen. Children will have to finish their domestic chores on time in order to concentrate during the study sessions. The advantage is that almost 90% of rural households own a radio or a phone with radio therefore that’s a resource to be leveraged. Through the idea, a national examinations centre for PlE, UCE and UACE will be established so that children can register and sit for national examinations for promotion to the next level. Pupils can be examined before registration. This will also give an opportunity to volunteer teachers from world over to record sessions for rural children. There will be live question and answer sessions like twice a month were children call in and ask questions. This will be for all subjects.  Every once a school term, curriculum material will be distributed to the pupils to use as they follow the radio sessions and to send in questions through a toll free line.

With this, we can create a system where even the least privileged children can go to school and have same study sessions with privileged children.

What part(s) of the pre-COVID school system do you wish to leave in the past? Why?

The part where children without school fees and requirements cannot attend school. Where schools are treated as businesses as opposed to social services; where education is limited to classroom settings. Where poor children will never see a blackboard; where classes in public schools are too congested and other amenities are in sorry state; where girls are raped on their to and from school. These deprive children of their human rights and an opportunity to be responsible adults and contribute to the future of my country.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to share this idea.

I am a social worker who is passionate about social development. MY work revolves around supporting rural households with the resources they need to thrive. The communities I work in are poverty stricken. Only a few can afford to take their children to public school where education is presumably free. So with the Covid 19 pandemic, parents who had previously taken children to school, might not be able to return them as a result to the measures which are being put in place to prevent the spread the virus. I feel if nothing is done many children are going to drop out of school while others will fail to join.

What region are you located in?

  • Eastern Africa

Where are you located?

I am located in Luwero District, Central Region, Uganda. Its majorly a rural district with 3 town councils out of 13 sub-counties. The community depends largely on agriculture with pineapples being the major economic crop. The village where I work has no secondary school and has one primary school owned by the catholic church. The village also had no health facility until January 2020 when I opened a small health facility.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Sylvia Nalubega

Beautiful idea Edith. Children can further actively participate as they write what they are learning so it makes the setting a real classroom. Parents and children can be engaged in drawing daily timetables for consistence in learning, the radio training sessions can be interactive as children are given questions on a more regular basis, during some radio sessions, a few children can take part to encourage fellow children, children can also be invited to share their stories on the new way of learning. Another idea is what I code name 'Pens and Paper for Education' PPE. Here children are given (a) particular topic (s) to write essays and those who excel get an opportunity to read out their essays on radio. The winning essays can be shared in children magazines found in news paper pull outs; in this way, children all over can connect in a special way.

Photo of Paul Kim

Edith -- thanks for your submission. It's great that you are thinking about access and using widely available technology like the radio. Can you describe more about the lessons that would or should be aired? Also, you might look at these ideas which also involve radio -- perhaps you can collaborate. Engaging teachers to promote remote learning through use community radio education programs can effectively help pupils learn at home. and Use Radio for engaging students 

Photo of edith tendo

Thanks Paul, the idea shared above is brilliant. I just read through it. I think we will record all subjects for primary and secondary. On average in secondary school each subject has two hours per week for ordinary level (UCE) and four hours of advance level (UACE). For primary school am not sure. Will inquire as I continue to develop the idea.