Solukhumbu – All the schools in entire nation are closed due to the nationwide lockdown. In this condition, all children are compelled to stay at home; and, we are not in the condition to make a valid judgement on the reopening of school at a specific date. In view of this condition, an organisation, working in the field of education for a long time in Solukhumbu district, REED Nepal has been broadcasting a ‘learning by radio’ program via the local FMs Himal and Solu. Students mainly studying at basic level (grade:1-8) have been learning Nepali, Science, English and Mathematics subjects on a daily basis via the program.
Students and parents have expressed their happiness reporting the significant support on students learning made by the program. Dibya Rai, a student from Thulung Dudhkoshi -6, Mukli is a student to be studying at grade 7, but she has not been able to go her school since the school got closed due to the terror of Coronavirus. She also had a fear of losing her studying habit while not being able to go her school. But nowadays her fear has gone and there has been a significant change in her daily routine. She gets up early, washes her face, and waits for the radio program being ready with pen, copy and book. She listens to the radio on her mobile. She listens to the radio for half an hour carrying a radio in one hand and a pen in the other, and learns from it. With her, her sister also sits to learn by the radio. Dibya also facilitates her sister when her class arrives on the radio. Her sister, Supragya Rai studies at grade four. “I had a fear that maybe I would forget the habit of studying; meanwhile, the radio program came and made me a lot easier than before, also; advancing my study skills”, said Dibya. Their parent Ms. Dhanrupa Rai informed that the daily routine of sibling is changed; although, they needed to be informed about the program earlier, the case is not same now, they themselves get ready in the morning and sit to study; besides, they also listen and learn in the afternoon by relistening the same program online.
Similarly, Sisam Rai who studies in Janajagriti BS Salleri at grade three has also found learning by radio very entertaining. She is also listening the radio via a mobile. “He does not miss any of his classes on the radio”, informed her mother, Nim Doma Rai. On the other hand, there is a small group of students at Sotang who listen the radio program collaboratively in group and learn together. Sadip Karki is a student of Barbot BS. He said that he always listens to the program and feels very happy to get a chance to learn by the radio.
Similarly, Small children arrives with copy and pen early in the morning at 7 to listen to the radio at the house of teacher Chudakumari KC. They enjoy listening with their miss and also ask if anything they found confusing to her. Teacher KC informed that she has been facilitating the children regarding the use of materials and confusing stuffs which makes her very happy, and further she told that she is also learning by the radio. Likewise, Rama Kattel of Solu Dudhkunda BS informed that she has been receiving calls from her students who shared the songs and stories heard on the radio with her.
Teachers have reported that the program is not only supportive to the children but also to the teachers to a large extent. Teacher Suman Niraula expressed his belief that the program would be beneficial not only for students but for the teachers as well exposing them to new innovative teaching strategies; thereby, making them realize as a refresher training while listening the program. Another teacher Keshari Shrestha told that she has been listening the program regularly and found it very effective, and also believed that the program will be very beneficial for students’ learning.
“The program will be continued until the reopening of schools and made more effective in the days to come” informed, REED Nepal’s Education Development Coordinator, Mr. Keshav Dev Giri. REED Nepal has been broadcasting the ‘learning by radio program’ since 21th ¬of Baisakh with the support of Australian Himalayan Foundation.