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COVID-19: UN adopts radio education transmission in Borno to ensure continuity of learning

By Our reporter

Sept. 9, 2020 - The United Nations system in Nigeria says in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic and insurgency, it has resorted to using radio stations to transmit education programmes to children in Borno to ensure continuity of learning.

Dr Judith Giwa-Amu, National Coordinator of the Education in Emergencies (EIE) Coordination, a programme under the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) disclosed this to the Humanitarian Post in Abuja.

Speaking on the commemoration of the International Day for the Protection of Education from Attack, Giwa-Amu said education under attack goes beyond physical attack.

She explained that education is under attack when children cannot have access to education

She said that to this effect, the EIE have developed means of teaching children through radio broadcast to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on learning.

“With the COVID-19, what we have done in Borno, we have established radio programmes where we do radio education.

“The good thing about this is that it is able to get to children in the safety of their homes.

“So wherever they are, as long as they have a radio, they are able to hook up and then their parents can also support them to continue education.

“They are other forms of education but like for the IDPs camp, we use radio education.

“Also we have what you call the modular approach, where we have packets that we can give to the children so that they do not have to wait.

“In case of times when they do not have batteries for radio, they may not have electricity, they may not have mobile phones but they have the packets.

“So they work on the packets and of course the packets are identified week after week for their assignment,” Giwa-Amu said.

Responding to the worries of children in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps not being able to sit for national examinations, she said it was the duty of the FCT authorities to ensure that.

Giwa-Amu said in as much as they focus on northeast interventions because of the severity of the situation, they also carry out interventions in other regions like the North-central, Northwest, amongst others.

She said that the UN cannot just go into interventions without being invited, hence the responsibility of the FCT authorities to draw their attention for support to possible areas of interventions for the IDPs.

“In all these times, I have not really talked about the FCT and for the FCT, I tell them that the UN have to be invited by the authorities.

“The UN does not just go in to respond. So if the Minister of State for the FCT approaches the resident Coordinator, he is in charge of the UN system then the UN can come in.

“I am aware that we have individual organisations that reach out to different amps even in the FCT and it is actually the responsibility of FCT UBEB to be able to register them.

“So for us, a lot of focus has been in the Northeast because of the severity of the impact of the insurgency there.

“However, it does not stop the awareness creation of FCT UBEB and I think that basically, it has to do something with the linkage with the Federal Ministry of Education as a parent body and also FCT UBEB as the responsible education authority here in Abuja,” she added.

Giwa-Amu said it is the right of every child to get tested for an exam after learning and they need to be captured.

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