In anticipation of a possible prolonged lockdown and closure of schools in Abia State, the Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, is set to launch an innovative education program to keep students and their parents busy during the period.
Disclosing this to newsmen in Aba after a meeting with a special committee he set up to midwife the program, Governor Ikpeazu said that the state can not afford to ignore the education of her children even in the face of the health emergency in the country as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to him, “We must necessarily innovate at this time to ensure that the academics of our high flying school children do not suffer too much from the pandemic and its associated social disruptions. As the number one education state in the country, we must think ahead and use the resources we have to ride through this period while keeping our children and their parents engaged in the task of delivering quality education to the next generation”.
“Having considered the availability of various communication resources in the state, we believe that using radio, which is available in most homes with or without electricity supply appears the best channel to continue to provide academic lessons to our children from primary one through senior secondary. I have therefore directed the commssioner for education and other members of the committee to set up the modalities to use radio and television stations in the state to teach our children even while locked down at home with their parents”, he said.
He further informed that parents are expected to set up seats, tables and transistor radio at home to mimic classroom conditions while carefully selected teachers drawn from the state school system teach various subjects through the Broadcasting Corporation of Abia State (BCA) radio and television studios from 8am daily to midday for those in primary schools while those in secondary school will be taught from noon and weekends.
He emphasized the need for parents to also use the period to bond with their children by being part of the program as well as helping to mark their assignments based on scripts that will be issued by the teachers. Dr Ikpeazu who was for many years a lecturer of Biochenistry described the novel program as “Radio Classrooms” and expressed the hope that it will help to keep the school children busy and abreast of their academics pending the resumption of normal classes. He also directed tertiary institutions in the state to show proof of commencement of online learning facilities within 7 days to enable them benefit from his offer of N10m for setting up such systems.
Also speaking, the state Commissioner for Education, Dr KCK Nwangwa, applauded the vision and innovativeness of the Governor and informed that the state was also developing a customized online learning application that would be available to pupils and students whose parents have data connections to link to the learning software. He informed that the state was ready to commence the classroom radio program on Monday, 20th April, 2020, as directed by the Governor and called for total participation by all Abia school children pending the full restoration of normal academic programs.
Members of the committee include, Dr. KCK Nwangwa, Honorable Commissioner for Education (Chairman), Chief John Okiyi Kalu, Honorable Commissioner for Information, Elder Kizito Kalu, State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, Lady Happiness Nwabaji, Ag. Executive Secretary, Secondary Education Management Board, Hon. Austine Ukoh, Dean of Education Secretaries, Abia State (Secretary), Sir Paulinus Orji, Secretary of Association of Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools, Abia State, Daniel Chinagozi of the Innovation Growth ICT Hub, and Anyaso Anyaso, Director General of the Broadcasting Corporation of Abia State.