At least 500,000 children across primary, junior and secondary schools are benefiting from a radio learning programme supported by the United Nations Children’s Fund and the State Universal Basic Education Board in Adamawa State.
The initiative, which is funded by the German Government under its KfW project, provides literacy and numeracy lessons for children in primary classes and Mathematics, English Language, Civic Education, Chemistry and Biology classes for others in junior and secondary school levels.
Speaking on the development, the UNICEF Education Manager in Borno, Dr. Nasser Kaddoura, said there were plans to extend the lessons currently covering 19 local government areas to children in other local governments which have no radio signals.
“UNICEF is supporting millions of children in North-East Nigeria to learn through radio. Where signal and power challenges exist, we are working to have recorded lessons on memory cards and solar power tablets provided to children. Children in Adamawa have now joined millions of their counterparts in the North East to assess lessons on the radio.
“With generous funding from the KfW project, UNICEF is providing hundreds of worksheets, sanitisers and face masks to the children. At the community level, radio clubs are being formed across the North East to improve the quality of learning. UNICEF continues to support the government to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and engage children through innovative radio learning approaches,’’ he said.
In a statement, the Director of Quality Assurance, Adamawa State Universal Basic Education Board, Mallam Shehu Umar said radio learning has helped to sustain teaching and learning as schools remain closed to contain the spread of COVID-19. While admitting there were challenges, he added that the state government is leveraging on members of School-based Management Committees to monitor the effectiveness of the programme.
“Parents are also supporting their children to learn while at home. They usually call to appreciate the initiative as they confirmed that children now stay at home to wait for the time the lessons start so they can participate,’’ he said.