In an attempt to reach out to the children living in Jharkhand’s remote villages, the School Education and Literacy Department has started conducting radio classes with morning and evening sessions via mediumwave and FM channels five days a week. While only 10-minute sessions will be taken initially, the duration might be extended depending on the response from students.
The radio classes were launched in Jamshedpur and Chaibasa on Monday and then extended to Ranchi, Daltonganj, Hazaribagh and Bhagalpur.
State Programme Officer (Quality Education) at Jharkhand Education Project Council (JEPC), Abhinav Kumar told New Indian Express, “Currently, it is being relayed from six radio stations, out of which five are in Jharkhand while one is at Bhagalpur in Bihar so that Santhal Pargana could also get covered properly. The first episode of the day is aired between 9 to 10 am while the second episode is aired in the evening between 5:30 – 6:30 pm. Different time-slots have been fixed for different stations."
The content of the sessions is related to subjects like Hindi and English literature, History, Civics, Geography and some topics of science. According to Kumar, school teachers prepare chapter-wise contents in the form of 8-9 minute stories, which are then recorded in Ranchi studios and aired on radio.
Kumar further told the daily that the first episode aired on Monday was based on freedom fighter Birsa Munda which was welcomed by both students as well as the parents. Kumar further added by saying that the contents being prepared are aimed at students from Class 1 all the way to Class 12 before they get comfortable in this form of education where the content could be more class-specific.
A two-month agreement has been reached with radio stations, which will be extended following feedback from students and parents. Although teachers lauded the initiative, many of them doubt whether every student will get access to radio sets.
According to an official, just 33 percent of 42 lakh students have been connected through WhatsApp for online classes in the state.