The South Saharan Social Development Organisation, an NGO, has proffered “Radio School” to uncertainty in the current nationwide shut-down of schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Executive Director of the organization, Dr Stanley Ilechukwu, said this at a press conference in Enugu on Tuesday.
Ilechukwu said that the Radio School, which had successfully run its pilot two-year course in Enugu and Adamawa States, would ensure uninterrupted academic calendar in secondary and primary schools.
According to him, Radio School is 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.
“As we are all aware, the COVID-19 virus pandemic has necessitated the institution of various measures to limit its spread in the country, one of which is the prohibition of gatherings of more than 20 people and the closure of educational institutions.
“Right now, all primary and secondary schools, as well as universities have been shut down, practically halting all learning activities by children in the country.
“As much as we understand the reason for the directive, we at South Saharan Social Development Organisation are most concerned as the duration of 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 pupils and students already struggling to keep up with their studies,’’ he said.
Ilechukwu said that the organization 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 executive director noted that South Saharan 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 – Primary 6 (Common Entrance)
”JSS 3 (Junior Secondary School Certificate Examination) and SS3 Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination, Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board.
“Further information on the Radio School Project, including the lessons, testimonials and end line survey report can be found on the website www.radioschool.southsaharan.org,’’ he added.
It would be recalled that 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”
”Others are: 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.