UNICEF/SUBEB Radio, Television learning Programme targets 1.6 million children

Nick Yashi

Nick Yashi

UNICEF in collaboration with Bauchi State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) and two state government-owned broadcast media organisations, has launched a Radio and Television learning programme, expected to reach 1,694,375 Primary School pupils, Junior Secondary school students and Integrated Quranic School learners affected by COVID-19 closure of schools.

The Programme is a joint initiative by USAID, NEI, master trainers from the State Colleges of Education, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU) and Bauchi State Polytechnic.

Mr Bhanu Pathak, the Chief of Field Office, UNICEF Nigeria, Bauchi Field Office disclosed this on Wednesday while delivering a speech during the official launching of the programme.

He said that the Programme aims to provide technical support for the development of education sector COVID-19 contingency plan as an integral part of the State response plan to ensure the continuation of teaching and learning while children are at home as a result of COVID-19 outbreak.

He said that since schools have been shut down in the state as a result of COVID 19, millions of school children and their staff at all levels are currently staying at home, adding that with indefinite closure of schools, not only are children missing out on education, which is a fundamental right, they are also exposed to more risks of an educational setback such as examination failure and uprooting from a school where they could have been taught and sensitized on COVID 19.

“One of the response strategies of the plan is to develop context-appropriate strategies for continuous learning that allow pupils, teachers and schools to utilize flexible and remote/ home-based learning, which may include homework assignments, reading material, Radio, TV, online content, and internet-based learning. Past evidence has shown that delivering curriculum via radio and television can be an effective way of maintaining the learning process and student engagement.

“We hope to reach children and parents through the designed Radio and TV Literacy and Numeracy programmes for primary school pupils, Junior secondary school students and Quranic School learners. The programme includes sensitization messages on the key practices to prevent COVID-19 such as physical distancing, staying at home and regular practising of personal hygiene,” the UNICEF Boss said.

Mr Bhanu said that the lessons will run from Monday to Friday on both Bauchi Radio Corporation, 12 community radio stations and Television stations in the state between 8:00 and 11:00 in the morning and between 5:00 and 6:00 in the evening, adding that the broadcasts will reach a total number of 1,694,375 children with lessons right in their homes.

He then called on parents, caregivers and community members to ensure their children participate in the programme during the slated hours as it is one sure way to ensure children have uninterrupted education during the COVID-19 schools’ closure.

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