Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi
The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) Nigeria, Bauchi Field Office in collaboration with Bauchi State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) and Northern Education Initiative(NEI)Plus has launched a radio and television learning programme for primary school pupils, junior secondary school students and integrated Quranic school learners affected by COVID-19 lockdown.
Speaking during the launching ceremony held at the Hazibal Event Centre in Bauchi yesterday, the Chief of Field Office, UNICEF Nigeria, Bauchi Field Office, Mr. Bhanu Pathak, said the aim of the programme was to provide technical support for the development of education sector COVID-19 contingency plan as an integral part of the state response plan to ensure the continuation of teaching and learning while children are at home as a result of COVID-19 outbreak.
He explained that the programme is a joint initiative by USAID, NEI, master trainers from the state Colleges of Education, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU) and Bauchi State Polytechnic.
The UNICEF boss added that since schools were shut down in the state as a result of COVID-19, millions of school children and their staff at all levels are currently staying at home, adding that with indefinite closure of schools, not only are children missing out on education, which is a fundamental right, they are also exposed to more risks of educational setback such as examination failure and missing from school where they could have been taught and sensitised on COVID 19.
According to him, “One of the response strategies of the plan is to develop context-appropriate strategies for continuous learning that allow pupils, teachers and schools to utilise flexible and remote/home-based learning, which may include homework assignments, reading material, Radio, television, online content, and internet-based learning. Past evidence has shown that delivering curriculum via radio and television can be an effective way of maintaining the learning process and student engagement.”