South Africa

Uganda: Govt to Start Airing Radio Lessons Today

The Ministry of Education will today start airing lessons on various radio stations across the country as one of the means to cater for the continuity of learners following the closure of schools.

This comes a few days after President Museveni directed all schools to close as a preventive measure against the spread of Covid-19.

According to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Mr Alex Kakooza, they are slated to start with Primary Four and Five learners and as the timetables for the rest of learners is formulated.

"Following the closure of all schools due to prevailing Covid-19 pandemic, we shall be airing radio lessons for learners to continue with their lessons," Mr Kakooza said in his June 10 circular.

"Parents and guardians are, therefore, requested to support learners with radio sets and to also allow them time to tune on various radio stations in order to attend the lessons," he added.

Both government and privately-owned stations will cater for the learning exercise. According to the schedule, learners will be taken through Social Studies (SST), Mathematics, Science and Islamic Religious Education (IRE) for the next four weeks with each subject slated to last for 25 minutes . This is distributed between 8am and 1pm.

Background

This is not the first time the Ministry of Education is airing lessons on radio stations.

During last year's lockdown in March, the Ministry of Education kick-started lessons on both radios and television to complement the home study materials that were circulated to learners across the country.

However, the exercise lasted for only one month after many stakeholders complained that many learners could not access radios nor television sets, especially those in rural areas.

President Museveni in return promised to buy each household a radio set.

However, efforts by the Ministry of Education to secure approval of Shs336.8 billion in Parliament for procurement of nine million radio sets hit the wall after the Parliamentary Education Committee declined to approve the request.

MPs declined to pass the budget on grounds that it was an unnecessary expenditure since the country was by then holding a hybrid election were many politicians where using the radio stations. Legislators also queried the competence of the local firm, Orion Transformers and Electrics Ltd, that was being fronted by the ministry to supply the radio sets.

Meanwhile, various researchers from different institutions also poked holes in radio teaching.

Related

Dr Paul Kitooke, one of the principal investigators at Makerere University, in a research done last year, said learner revealed that they did not understand radio lessons because the teachers were very fast, explanations were not clear and the majority of them missed lessons because they had gone to dig.

Learners also said radio lessons were interrupted by adverts and it was difficult to understand without seeing a teacher physically.

Mr Kokooza yesterday said all learners might not be able to access the lessons, but they are after ensuring that at least some of them get engaged.

He said the ministry is trying its best to ensure that they also complete the home-study materials for Primary Three learners who did not get.

The Ministry of Education in March printed 5.4m copies of home-study materials that were distributed to learners from Primary Four to Primary Seven but the content did not cater for Primary One to Three learners.

RADIOS

- Mega FM (Gulu)

- Tembo FM (Kitgum)

- Radio wa (Lira)

- Voice of Karamoja (Kotido)

- Radio Pacis (Arua)

- Open Gate (Mbale)

- Voice of Teso (Soroti)

- CBS FM (Kampala)

- Kibale, Kigadi Radio (Kagadi)

- Radio Kitara (Masindi)

- Basoga Baino (Jinja)

- Voice of Tooro (Fort Portal)

- Kasese Guide (Kasese)

- Radio West (Mbarara, Kabale, Masaka, Kampala)

- Voice of Kigezi (Kabale)

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