No fewer than 500 transistor radio sets have been distributed to public secondary schools in Enugu State as a prelude to the radio school programme in the state.

Speaking on Saturday during the distribution of the radio sets to school principals, the Commissioner for Education, Prof. Uche Eze, said the aim was to improve learning outcome in the state.

Eze said that the poor performance of students in external examinations had made it imperative for government to key into any scheme that would enhance the standard of education.

He expressed regret that the rot in the education sector had led to unimaginable examination malpractice, culminating to negative societal values, and as such everything must be done to check the trend.

The commissioner commended the initiators of the project, South Saharan Social Development Organisation (SSDO), for attracting such laudable project to the state.

He said that the pilot phase of the radio school broadcast was targeted at JSS 2 students and would feature model lessons from the four compulsory subjects based on the national education curriculum.

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The subjects are English Language, mathematics, civic education and basic science.

“Examination malpractice seems to be the order of the day due to poor preparations but if we want to have a sound future we must lay a firm foundation for our children.

“A child must not move on borrowed garments. They cannot do anything with good results got through examination malpractice and the crimes in our society are reflections of the failure of our schools.

“Some of us engage in examination malpractice because we feel it’s a quick way to make money. When we produce individuals that cannot help themselves they run into crime,” he said.

Uche appealed to the principals to ensure that the project met the desired objective, adding that the radio school would improve the work done by teachers.

“Listening is a very important skill in human communication and individuals improve on their listening skills through radio.

“The programme has been included in our school time-table. The students will be gathered and listen to the programme and the teacher will answer their questions.

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“It will add value to what we are doing as the lessons were prepared by experts,” Uche said.

Speaking, the Executive Director of SSDO, Mrs Grace Nwobodo said that the programme was the group’s flagship project borne out of the need to fill identified gaps in learning outcome.

Nwobodo said it was sad that for four successive years the results of the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) in the state had been very poor.

“According to WAEC, about 70 per cent failure was recorded in this period and we took this into consideration.

“We found out that there were so many gaps which cannot be accounted for and something needs to be done about the quality of education.

‘’So the radio school came to our mind to complement what the teachers are doing,” she said.

She said that the project was funded in two states of Adamawa and Enugu by MacArthur Foundation as part of its education support programme in the country.

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“MacArthur Foundation is the sole sponsors of this project. They gave us the grant through the Partnership for Strengthening Innovation and Practice in Secondary Education.

“Adamawa State was the central focus of this project because of the plights of the internally displaced persons as most of them no longer go to schools.

“This is meant to provide for them alternative to secondary education but for those who are in school this will complement their regular school learning,” she said.

Nwobodo said that the pilot phase of the radio school intervention would run for two academic sessions and would help to bridge the gap for the students, especially in areas with little or no manpower.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the radio school programme will start on Monday, Sept. 26 on Radio Nigeria AM/Medium wave 828 kilohertz on school days. (NAN)