To ensure pupils keep learning during the compulsory COVID-19 holiday, the Anambra State Government has initiated radio and television programmes for primary and secondary school pupils.
Public and private primary and secondary schools were shut down from March 23 as a precautionary measure against the spread of the COVID-19.
The government said it had started the teaching of eight subjects on radio to help SS3 pupils prepare for their Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE).
The Commissioner for Basic Education, Prof. Kate Omenugha, said the programme tagged “Anambra Teaching On Air”, by the Anambra State Ministry of Basic Education, in collaboration with the Anambra Broadcasting Service (ABS). would ensure pupils were engaged during the school closure.
Omenugha said teachers who specialised in core subjects such as Mathematics, English Language, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Economics, Literature-in-English and Financial Accounting, would take the various topics on radio.
“The essence of the on-air teaching programme is to ensure the lock down occasioned by the corona virus pandemic doesn’t adversely affect Anambra students.
“The programme which started on Wednesday, April 1, 2020, on ABS radio, with alternating current electricity is basically for SS-3 students, who are preparing for SSCE but because SS-3 class is usually for revision, those in SS-1 and SS-2 can also benefit.
“To tell the truth, I don’t know how long this sit-at-home directive will last. So, the on-air teaching programme will go on as long as we are at home. The teaching starts from 11.00 a.m to 1.00 p.m every day.
“I urge parents to take advantage of the exercise by ensuring their children listened to the programme rather than allow them patronise tutorial centres, to curb the spread of coronavirus,” she added.
Stakeholders in the education sector have praised the government for striving to keep the pupils busy regardless of the global lockdown occasioned by the pandemic.
They called for the continuation of the programme even after the pandemic is gone.
Chairman, Post Primary Schools Service Commission (PPSSC), Lady Ifeoma Okaro applauded Mrs. Omenugha for bringing her wealth of experience to bear as a professor of Mass Communication in preparing the teachers for the task.
She also praised Mr. Kenneth Nweke, the teacher who took the first lesson in the series.
Chairman of All Nigeria Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools, Mrs Augustina Atuchukwu, also praised the initiative, urging other state governments to emulate the programme.
“We commend the wonderful initiative of migrating the classrooms to the radio, the television and the new media for the benefit of our school children,” she said.
On his part, Managing Director of ABS, Chief Uche Nwora thanked his engineering team for making the broadcast possible and promised better reception in subsequent outings.
Nwora also said the lessons could be accessed by downloading Anambra Broadcasting Service App from Google playstore.
Despite lauding the initiative, a parent, Mrs. Eunice Nzeagwu expressed reservations that the programme would not provide opportunity for the pupils to be evaluated by the teachers.
She also worried that pupils could abuse the initiative by visiting other unauthorised sites.
“You know most parents don’t allow their children to make use of phones. But with this, they may request for phone, claim to use it for the exercise, but might end up using it for other negative things,” she said.
A teacher, who did not want to be named, applauded the programme but called for proper execution.
“The thought for such programme is a welcome idea. But I feel that it needs proper planning and execution because I was not encouraged with their first outing on physics lesson, after that the next lesson was not taught.”
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