Education is critical to development and ensuring the rights and well-being of citizens, yet Nigeria has one of the worst educational system in Africa. In 2013, over 70% of the students failed the school leaving certificate examination according to the West African Examinations Council (WAEC). Adamawa and Ebonyi states were at the bottom of that list while Enugu state fared slightly better. Rural students performed worse than their urban counterparts. The major reason for the poor performance was attributed to the absence of qualified and experienced teachers in schools. Good teachers prefer to be in better paid urban private schools. Without a good education, young people especially the poor are less likely to escape poverty.
To address this issue, South Saharan Social Development Organization (SSDO) initiates the ‘Radio School’- a programme where curriculum based classes are being aired on the radio so that pupils from disadvantaged schools with poor quality or no teachers can get the same quality of learning as children in better schools. Funded by the MacArthur Foundation, the ongoing project which is a three-year pilot commenced with the airing of JSS2 classes (Basic science, civic education including basic gender studies, English and Maths) on radio in Enugu and Adamawa states. By putting curriculum-based lessons on the radio, this project goes a long way to address access to quality education for adolescents and the threat of insurgency to education in the North East of Nigeria.
Radio School is being implemented in Adamawa State in collaboration with The Centre for Public Education and Mobilization for Development in Nigeria (CEPAD-NIGERIA).
The project is in four stages:
Pre-production Stage – the radio teachers were trained to choose and adapt/adopt most appropriate and apt formats that will guarantee learning and learning outcomes among listeners.
Production Stage – the recording of live classroom lessons were adapted to suit radio transmission.
Post-production Stage – the recorded lessons were edited for onward transmission over the radio
Broadcast Stage –radio transmission of lessons.
Broadcast of the lessons commenced in September, 2016 for the 2016/2017 academic session. This will continue for two academic sessions (2016/17 and 2017/18). The students can call the Radio School teachers every day after broadcast of lessons between 3-5pm (GMT+1) through toll-free lines to ask questions and clarify issues they do not understand.
South Saharan Social Development Organization aims that this initiative will be adopted nationwide and children all over Nigeria can once again have access to good quality education.
What are the benefits?
To students: It is a huge benefit to students who are victims of insurgencies, teachers’ strike and poverty.
To the government and policy makers: Mass illiteracy and poor academic performance will reduce significantly in the secondary schools. Hence, government will reallocate funds to some other development priority.
ABOUT IMPLEMENTING PARTNERS
South Saharan Social Development Organization (SSDO) – Enugu State
SSDO is a duly registered non-profit organization in Nigeria, with a primary focus of equipping young women, youth and children with the social, health, economic, educational and political skills needed to survive and compete favorably in a vastly changing and urbanizing sub-saharan Africa. Since its inception in 2001, SSDO has become a viable platform for many young women and men to learn about and explore their femininity and masculinity in a non-destructive, mutually reinforcing and respectful manner that empowers them to exploit their full citizenship. For more information, please visit www.southsaharan.org
The Centre for Public Education and Mobilization for Development in Nigeria (CEPAD-NIGERIA)- Adamawa State
CEPAD-Nigeria is an independent, non-governmental, non-profit, non-partisan organization with focus on information sharing, educating citizens on development issues and building their capacity to effectively contribute to human and community development. CEPAD-NIGERIA was duly registered on the 5th of April, 2005 under the Companies and Allied Matters Act 1990 of Nigeria. CEPAD-NIGERIA builds on current knowledge and research, develops relationships with key players in development, and helps catalyze, design, and implement sustainable development programs to fill identified gaps and improve the well-being and livelihood of Nigerians within its areas of focus. For more information, please visit www.cepadnigeria.org
Radio School is simply interesting! It is a whole new approach to learning.
Odey Blessing – City Girls Secondary School
I think Radio School is a great opportunity for students who are deprived of the chance to go to school to be trained through the radio from their homes.
Idoko Ruth – Queens School Enugu
Radio School is as good as the normal classroom school. The examples are brought to real life experiences. Radio School has improved my knowledge on various academic subjects.
Divine Simeon Tochukwu – Gabselina Secondary School (Enugu)
I think Radio School is very good for children. We can gain extra knowledge from the program.
Ani Victor Chinonso – Kings Kids Comprehensive Secondary School