There are historical evidences to justify our call:
“In United Kingdom, education was taken up through radio just after two years of starting of broadcasting in 1922 with initiation of British Broadcasting Company. This company became British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) after 5 years. Then educational radio was controlled by an Educational Council. Twenty local radio stations are now in operation in England, each of them broadcasting locally devised programmes.
Australian Broadcasting Corporation introduced educational broadcast in 1929 where representatives from schools assisted in their earlier attempt. The State Department of Education took up the responsibility of production since 1939. Presently all the schools receive information about next years’ school broadcast on a regular manner. The broadcasts are more of ‘open-ended’ style giving students scope to draw their on conclusion.
Early thirties saw the beginning of school broadcast in United State of America, first with National Broadcasting Company having ‘Music Appreciation Hour’. ‘American School of the Air’ has had a significant contribution by broadcasting daily programmes on science, music, history, literature, and current events. Even prior to 1936, about 202 radio stations were broadcasting educational programmes which gradually came down within next thirty years. It has seen some increase in number with the advent of FM broadcasting by 1945.
In Canada also Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) started school broadcast on an experimental basis at various places. On getting positive response it was made permanent with daily 20 mts. broadcast for schools. It was here in 1941 that radio education was successfully used for providing agricultural information for “Farm Radio Forum”. Here it was proved again that the radio can contribute substantially to the process of transformation of agricultural tradition, as well as some social and economic attitudes in general.
Then this was extended to other countries including India. Education through radio in France devotes more then one half of its output for education both in Primary stage as well as in Secondary grades. Japan, though a developed country, has used radio for education since 1933. The Japan Broadcasting Corporation (Nihon Hoso Kyokai—NHK) broadcasts for kindergarten, elementary .middle, high school etc and provides yearly time table of educational programmes, teachers’ guide and text book for students to all the schools. Radio plays a supplementary role in enriching the knowledge of class teachers here in Japan.
In Malaysia also educational programmes are broadcast in four of their National language like English, Chinese and Tamil from Monday to Thursday. Utilisation of educational radio in developing countries was more significant and covered various field of the development. Whether agriculture or health, adult education or family planning, the educational element used to take-the first priority.
School broadcast, in Mathematics or Science, Civics or Language, sometimes takes a major chunk of radio broadcast in various places.” – J. K. Das
Some people complain that Radio is not interactive enough for education, like say the Internet. Now there are two possibles answers here:
1.First, even if the Internet itself is very interactive medium, studies show that only 2% of people consuming content or information on Internet interact with that content (in other ways than clicking). Less than 2% of Internet users would for example comment on content they have just read, viewed or watched, and less than 1% of Internet users produces all the content available online)
2.Radio could be easily combined with other medias and methods of interactivity:
Radio + telephone
People listen on radio but can call a desk to ask questions that would be answered by the teachers.
Radio + SMS
People listen on radio and send questions and contribution by SMS
Radio + paper materials
People receive in advance paper materials, then listen to a teacher on radio, and can ask questions
Radio + TV
Images and course illustrations are displayed through a TV set, but voice comes from Radio, and interaction happen with telephone and SMS
Radio + Internet
People can receive necessary course material by internet in advance, and then the live lesson happens on Air.
There are a lot of possibilities, and there is enough evidence that learning through radio works. Instead of biting too hard the hook of the new technologies, we still could give a chance to the old one, because People Who Can’t Read or Write Still Can Learn. Let’s Not Forget Them.
Mawuna Koutonin is a world peace activist who relentlessly works to empower people to express their full potential and pursue their dreams, regardless of their background. He is the Editior of SiliconAfrica.com, Founder of Goodbuzz.net, and Social activist for Africa Renaissance. Koutonin’s ultimate dream is to open a world-class human potential development school in Africa in 2017. If you are interested in learning more about this venture or Koutonin’s other projects, you can reach him directly by emailing at firstname.lastname@example.org.