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School Radio offers better learning environment for children in Yemen

© UNICEF Yemen
Photo caption: Students during a reading session in the library at Fatma Al-Zahra Girls School in Malla district of Aden. The school, including the library was renovated with GPE funding through UNICEF.

By: Ansar Rasheed

ADEN, Yemen, 11 January 2017– The well organised morning march just begun. Amina and her 13 year old classmate Najla of grade seven were giving awareness messages through School Radio. This particular session was on the importance of reading as additional source of enhancing education and knowledge. Their confidence was impressive, palpable in their voices and how both had come prepared.

School Radio is one of UNICEF’s programmes supported by the Child Friendly School (CFS) initiative at Fatma Al-Zahra Girls School in Malla district of Aden where nearly 1,150 students study in two shifts.

“Every Thursday I and members of the Students Council get together to plan and organize for the next week’s School Radio program. We pick up some topics and schedule them in consultation with the school management team Head who is also the out-of-class activity Head teacher. This week we will be talking about morals, respecting parents, personal hygiene, and water related diseases. These messages are not only for the students. They reach out to a much wider audience. Knowledge is very important and every one of us has a right to it,” says Najla.

Ms Fatima Jaffar, the School Principal explains that giving students a chance to participate in daily management of the school, organizing activities and planning for them has positive impact on students. “It gives them a feeling of commitment and ownership. They become more responsible and committed to maintaining their school. They begin to see their school as a place for education as well as fun,” she says. It also impacts parents who feel assured that the school is now safe for their children and effectively contributes to their education and discipline.

“Twice a week I go to the library because I like to read. Some books have great colors, especially comics. I always like to spend time there. My school is improving every day and I feel happy going there. We also have playground materials. The school is clean and green with plants. Fans and lights are on all the time. I love my school,” says Amina Ommar of grade four.

UNICEF, with funding from the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), has contributed to ensure a safe learning environment by supporting psychosocial programmes for children, including out-of-class recreational activities and rehabilitating schools.

“Thank you UNICEF for providing the canteen. We no longer have to wait in long queues or sit on the floor to have our break snack,” says Rokaya Yassin of grade five. 



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