Govt to reintroduce radio lessons

HARARE - Government is set to reintroduce radio lessons to enable students to get supplementary learning in the comfort of their homes.

Education minister Lazurus Dokora said the government is now geared to reintroducing the “school of the air”.

Radio lessons used to cater for the primary and early secondary education of children mostly in remote areas. 

Classes were traditionally conducted by radio, although this is now being replaced by Internet technology. 

Dokora was responding to a question on Thursday in the Senate by Nyamayabo Mashavakure, a senator representing people living with disabilities, on revival of radio lessons. 

“The short answer is yes. Already, groundwork has been prepared to revive those radio lessons. 

“You know with ICT; we are also looking even to the TV Channel which we are going to get when we go fully digital. 

“One of the channels will be allocated to education and will occupy the morning shift and then our counterparts in Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development will occupy the other shift.  

“So we will use the available channels to reach all learners in the country. That is the only way we can justify our pursuit of equity.

“I think the honourable senator will also be happy to know that even our examining system is sensitive also to the kind of media that the learners use at examination time.”

Dokora said in the last Grade 7 examinations, there was a first batch of candidates who used braille.

“Of course, there are variables that you then introduce in that space, like the duration. They cannot be allocated the same time as the others but we use various channels to reach out to all learners.  The Zimbabwean education system is becoming more inclusive and more sensitive and therefore, more radical in approach.”

According Dokora, the students will attend and write the same examinations.

“If it is secondary, they will also write the same curriculum at O-Level and beyond. That is how we manage these small groups of learners.  

“They are structured into the alternative system which is equally competent and yields the same outcomes for the learners. It is highly individualised and therefore is not dependent on getting teachers deployed in their numbers to take care of 30 kids who are from Grades 0 to Grade 7.  It will not be possible to deploy full time teachers.”

Dokora added that the correspondence education or Open Distance Learning (ODL) is designed to reach out to the isolated learner and was designed originally in colonial times.

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