Ali Mubiru, a professional producer with Radio Simba, says that the developers of the content in question are basically recording conventional classroom lessons and broadcast them on the radio making them unappealing to learners.
closed again, because of the second wave of COVID-19, the Ministry of
Education has revived radio lessons to ensure continuity of learning. The Ministry is broadcasting lessons on 15
radio stations across the country targeting primary four and five classes. The
stations are broadcasting two 25 minutes lessons each day, three days a week.
are pre-recorded by the National Curriculum Development Center-NCDC and sent to
selected radio stations across the country for broadcast. The previous lessons
were criticised for falling short of the basic standards of teaching and
production. During the lessons, teachers would show up in radio or
television studio and conduct live lessons like they do in the classroom
To some experts,
it seems the government learnt nothing and forgot nothing from the first
attempt in the previous lockdown. Ali Mubiru, a professional producer with
Radio Simba, says that the developers of the content in question are basically
recording conventional classroom lessons and broadcast them on the radio making
them unappealing to learners.
//Cue in; “Remember this is...
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there is a need to produce tailor-made content to capture the attention of the
//Cue in; "When someone...
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Mubiru, who is also a trained teacher with a master’s degree in Technology in
education, says such lessons cannot serve the purpose given the medium through
which they are delivered. He says that
there is a need for adequate preparations and involvement of producers to ensure
the broadcast appeals to the targeted audience.
//Cue in; “They need to...
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Jackson Okello, the South Sudan Country Director for Speak-Up, a project that
has been in the field of broadcasting lessons in the conflict-ravaged Horn of
Africa for the last decade also listened to some of the radio lessons airing on
the selected stations. He says that the content developers need to return to
drawing board, arguing that the few teachers he listened to sounded more like
“The teachers talk right from the start of the lesson to the
end. There is nothing designed to attract the participation of learners. Although
teachers have the content, I think there is a need to incorporate radio
production experts,” he said. Similar arguments were highlighted in the 2020
UNSECO report, indicating that broadcasted lessons in many African countries,
Uganda inclusive, lacked collaboration between education specialists and the
professionals in the production sector.
Mubiru says that besides the content, the lessons should have sound effects,
humorous skits, bytes, and stories all scripted to help engage listeners by
making the lesson interactive and memorable. He asserts that all this must be
done in a professional studio. Our reporter listened to some of the lessons produced for radio broadcasts in
South Sudan and indeed they captured most of the highlighted components.
They were also not limited to teachers as other people like local journalists
were used to develop content and collect interviews for the lessons. For
instance, during one of their English lessons, interviews were collected from
mothers to help learners understand concepts in cooking.
A similar approach is used by another project dubbed “Making Waves” which has
been airing radio lessons for learners in the eastern Democratic Republic of
Congo. Their lessons are delivered like a play or ongoing skit – rather than an
audio lecture – and use different characters, to reinforce the lesson.
Citing an example of a Social Studies lesson on ‘our leaders’ broadcast on
Monday, Mubiru said if the lesson had been produced in the right way, it should
have included interviews from people or known leaders. However, to his
surprise, the teacher kept on reading from his notes without even providing
learners any examples.
Asked how the lessons were being prepared, Grace Baguma, the Director National
Curriculum Development Center said they were just recorded in their studio at
NCDC. “We brought on board some experienced teachers. We trained them on
how this can be done and then recorded the lessons. The lessons were recorded
from NCDC and they passed our quality assurance,” Baguma noted.
She, however, didn’t answer questions on whether NCDC had benched-marked from
other players to understand how this is done differently or consulted
professionals in production as the UNESCO report had recommended. Whereas
the Ministry is struggling to produce the radio lessons, this is not the first
time radio stations are broadcasting lessons in Uganda.
Back in the 60s, radio
Uganda used to broadcast lessons covering the English language, civic education
and basic science. Many students at that time benefitted from the arrangement
and learnt a lot.