Prerana Chanda, Grade 8
Shree Janata Basic School
Ward No. 9, Janaki Rural Municipality
Prerana had just finished her seventh-grade final exam in March 2020. Soon after, COVID-19 lockdown took effect. She did not have much to do as she remained at home most of the time. Like every other underprivileged student, she had no access to guided learning. Her school neither had facilities to provide virtual classes nor her parents could buy expensive gadgets. Worse still, she did not have learning resources at home and there was no other way to continue her classes.
To help such children, GNI Nepal started airing a radio schooling program which Malika FM, a local radio station also broadcast. Classes for grade six to eight students on three core subjects: English, Science and Social Studies were offered six days a week in the mornings and evenings. It was a one-and-half hour program.
Prerana was fascinated by the newfound source of learning. She could learn just by listening to the teachers speak on the radio. She listened to the classes regularly from the comfort and safety of her home, and enjoyed them as well. Even her parents supported and freed her of household chores so that she could take part in the classes. Every day she readied herself with a notebook and pen to take down important notes. She paid attention to the tutors’ instructions. She experienced a classroom-like learning environment as she and all the student-listeners like her were given interesting homework which helped all of them to maintain their learning curves.
Sundai Sikdai radio classes were born as a respose to an unprecedened necessity and were able to help underprivileged students like Prerana. These sessions did not cost Prerana’s family anything and also kept her safe from the virus. Prerana shares, “For me, radio was the only option available for learning. Thanks to all the teachers who made us feel as if we were in our classroom.”
Keshav Tamata, Principal of Shree Amarawati Basic School claims, “The radio program was a big hit among local students and they all benefited from it.”