By Farzina Siraj Rahee (farzina.siraj@brac.net)

BRAC Education Programme (BEP), in cooperation with BRAC’s Community Empowerment Programme (CEP) and BRAC Institute of Education and Development’s (BIED) Social Innovation Lab (SIL), has initiated an innovative approach called ‘Radio School’. It is a supplement to the national efforts of reaching pre-primary children through distance learning and assisting parents in nurturing their children in a better way, particularly focusing on their mental and physical developmental needs. It is broadcast every Monday and Friday evening at 7:30 PM through BRAC’s internal Radio ‘Pollikontho’. A few teachers from BRAC’s pre-primary schools were trained to host shows and facilitate the teaching-learning initiative in cooperation with two radio jockeys (hosts).

BEP’s curriculum team has incorporated all the major domains of learning — Language and Communication, Pre-Math and Science, Technology, and Health and Safety — in the script. Although the scripts include rhymes, stories, and songs, as well as crafts, physical exercise, and plays that are easy to do at home with parents. Parents facilitate their children’s lessons with real objects like pebbles, jackfruit seeds, pens, plants, flowers, doors, and windows. Teachers and Programme Organizers communicate with Parents before the programs. They call them on their mobile phones to remind them about listening to the programs and, at the same time, to follow up on their children’s learning progress.

BRAC’s Radio School pilot in Sylhet became one of the central topics of discussion during this pandemic. Since all educational institutions were closed in March 2020, this Radio School program has introduced a new approach to learning, where children along with their parents get the opportunity to listen to songs, rhymes, and stories, and to engage in interactive lessons sitting in the comfort of their own homes. BEP has partnered with the other 10 community radios of Bangladesh to scale up this Radio School program in all BRAC pre-primary schools. For more information, contact Farzina Siraj Rahee (farzina.siraj@brac.net).

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