Pre-recorded radio lessons raise mixed reactions

Thursday June 24 2021

A pupil follows lessons on radio in Karango Sub-county, Kabarole District, May 2020. PHOTO/ALEX ASHABA

By Alex Ashaba

On Monday last week, government through the Ministry of Education started teaching learners on different radio FM stations across the country.
President Museveni on June 6 closed all schools for 42 days to avoid the spread of Covid-19.
In the three regions of Tooro, Bunyooro, and Rwenzori, the Ministry of Education selected three FM stations. The Voice of Tooro in Fort Portal City for Tooro region, Radio Kitaara in Masindi for Bunyoro and Guide FM in Kasese for Rwenzori region.

Lessons at Voice of Tooro started on Tuesday from 10am to 11am for Primary Four and Five classes.
Each lesson took 25 minutes and it is pre-recorded. A teacher of a given subject is recorded in English and then after the audio is played.
The pre-recorded lessons were received from the Ministry of Education.
However, the learning process has attracted mixed reactions from both parents, students, and education authorities in the districts.
The Kabarole District education officer, Mr Patrick Rwakaikara, said he was neither involved nor aware of the lessons.
“I have heard it from you that lessons are being conducted on the Voice of Tooro, the government did not involve us like last time. I don’t know if it will be effective,” he said.

Previous method
“Last year, teachers would go on radio and after the lesson, children would call in and ask question,” Mr Rwakaikara added. 
Moonlight Gloria, a pupil at Kyebambe Model Primary School, said listening to lessons is like listening to a song.

“You cannot learn very well.  Some audios are faster while others are short and unfortunately, you cannot call in at the radio and ask a question because the teacher is not in the studio,” she said.
Ms Lucy Kabahinda, a parent in Fort Portal, said if the government is considering using radio to air out lessons, it should contact all radio stations in the area.
Voice of Tooro serves about seven disand in some places, the network is poor.

Ms Margret Nyakabito, a staff at Radio Kitaara, said they signed a contract with the government to air out the lessons for two months from June.
“We receive pre-recorded lessons which we air out from Monday to Wednesday for the classes of Primary Four and Five, but the feedback from both parents and students is that teachers are fast,” she said.

In Kasese District, Guide FM radio was selected to air out the lessons.
During the lockdown last year in March, the Ministry of Education started lessons both on radio and TV stations to complement home-study materials.