THE United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) has donated 3 000 radio sets to benefit disadvantaged school-going children who have no access to the gadgets which are now being used to offer educational lessons amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
With the recent surge in active positive cases of the lethal virus in schools, the government resolved that learners should attend lessons on an alternating basis, while some lessons are to be conducted on radio.
Speaking at a handover ceremony held in Harare, Primary and Secondary Education deputy minister Edgar Moyo said that radio lessons would go a long way in assisting disadvantaged children, who previously had no access to the gadgets.
“To date the ministry has managed to broadcast 1 427 lessons based on the competence-based curriculum on all national and community radio stations. The … radios … will go a long way in providing alternative education to underprivileged communities.
“Radio, besides being a vehicle that develops learners through auditory senses, the medium also develops learners’ knowledge, skills and attitudes. With imagination, learners are then also exposed to the 21st century of critical thinking, creativity, communication collaboration and problem solving,” Moyo said, adding that the lessons will be broadcast in 12 indigenous languages.
“There is a global drive on indigenous languages and multilingualism, the radio lessons will provide the learners with a window to acquire skill to speak more than one language and improve on tolerance and peaceful living in the country,” Moyo said.
He further said that the radios will allow schools to listen to live broadcasts as well as access previously broadcast lessons through uploaded memory sticks.
“The ministry is leaving no child behind in an attempt to provide education for all,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of the chief of education, education manager, Chiharu Kondo said that the radios will be distributed evenly to the disadvantaged communities and schools.
“In order to facilitate access to radio lessons by children in disadvantaged communities and schools, Unicef procured 3 167 radio sets offshore and these have since arrived.
“We wish to acknowledge Education Cannot Wait (ECW) which funded 1 952 sets and Global Partnership for Education (GPE) which funded procurement of the remainder. The ministry is finalising the distribution list, and distribution will commence in the next two weeks,” Kondo said.
“One key feature is that the radios have a USB port for playing pre-recorded lessons. This will enable children in the targeted remote areas where there is limited or non-existent radio signal to access pre-recorded radio lessons off-line.”
He said memory sticks and CDs procured will also be distributed together with the radio sets. – Daily News