DRC’s ministry of primary, secondary and technical education launches distance education via radio, with the support of UNICEF
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KINSHASA, 26 April 2020- The DRC’s Minister of State, Minister of Primary, Secondary and Technical Education (EPST), Willy Bakonga launched today the country’s first radio-based learning programme that will be broadcast on Radio Okapi, with the support of UNICEF.
Through educational radio programmes and learning kits, more than 25 million Congolese children will be able to continue their schooling despite the closure of schools as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Homework booklets for primary and secondary school children and adolescents will be distributed to all students in the DRC, including those living in remote areas.
The MONUSCO-managed Radio Okapi and the Congolese National Radio (RNTC) have committed to broadcast two to three hours a day of classes on the main subjects of the primary cycle, including Math, French, reading and writing, health and environmental education and hygiene. For secondary cycle, special emphasis will be placed on Math, French, technology, life and earth sciences and information technology.
"This initiative will not only allow learners to continue studying, but will also prevent them from losing their school year. I invite private radio and television stations to follow in the footsteps of Radio Okapi and RTNC," said Bakonga.
Messages and prevention programmes on COVID-19 will also be broadcast on these radio stations to increase children’s knowledge and allow them to develop life-saving practices.
"Education is a right and a child's place is in school. Distance learning will enable us to offer students the opportunity to enjoy this right. UNICEF will continue to support the Government of DRC in this initiative," said UNICEF Representative in DRC Edouard Beigbeder.
The Ministry of EPST launched a television channel, Educ-TV, at the beginning of the school closure, on which video content is broadcast and where many teachers give live lessons every day. As this television channel only covers Kinshasa and its surroundings, the Ministry of EPST decided to launch the learning project via FM radio stations.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.