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Radio as an Educational Tool in Developing Countries: Its Evolution and Current Usages



Radio emerged as a tool of mass media from the very early days of its introduction in the later part of the nineteenth century. Quite surprisingly, even after more than a hundred years of its existence, and in the midst of remarkable advancements in the field of information and communication technologies, Radio still plays a pivotal role in the field of education in general, and distance education in particular. Apart from the developed countries, the developing countries all around have immensely benefitted from the use of Radio in the field of education. With the growth of distance education in the last two scores of years, Radio has emerged as one of the most effective and cost-efficient tools of mass communication. Among different countries of the world, the use of Radio as an educational tool has remained prominent in the countries like Thailand, India, Mali, Columbia, Nigeria, Mexico, Kenya, Nepal, Bangladesh, Nicaragua, Sri Lanka, Botswana, South Korea etc. The primary agenda however varied significantly across these countries. For example, Thailand used Radio to primarily teach mathematics to school children, India used it primarily as a tool for rural development, Mali used it for literacy training, Nigeria used it for the management courses particularly relating to agriculture, Sri Lanka used it primarily for family planning and health etc. This paper makes an attempt to trace the evolution and growth of Radio as a tool of education, particularly distance education in the developing countries. Apart from that, the paper also makes an attempt to outline the content of the Radio programmes across these countries of the world. Last, but not the least, an attempt will also be made to evaluate the role of Radio in distance education in the context of the emerging communication technologies and open learning resources in the contemporary period. Keywords: Developing countries, distance education, educational tool, radio.
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Radio as an Educational Tool in Developing Countries: Its Evolution and
Current Usages
Bhaskar Sarmah, Ph. D.*
Sukmaya Lama, Ph. D.^
Radio emerged as a tool of mass media from the very early days of its introduction in
the later part of the nineteenth century. Quite surprisingly, even after more than a hundred
years of its existence, and in the midst of remarkable advancements in the field of
information and communication technologies, Radio still plays a pivotal role in the field of
education in general, and distance education in particular. Apart from the developed
countries, the developing countries all around have immensely benefitted from the use of
Radio in the field of education. With the growth of distance education in the last two scores
of years, Radio has emerged as one of the most effective and cost-efficient tools of mass
communication. Among different countries of the world, the use of Radio as an educational
tool has remained prominent in the countries like Thailand, India, Mali, Columbia, Nigeria,
Mexico, Kenya, Nepal, Bangladesh, Nicaragua, Sri Lanka, Botswana, South Korea etc. The
primary agenda however varied significantly across these countries. For example, Thailand
used Radio to primarily teach mathematics to school children, India used it primarily as a tool
for rural development, Mali used it for literacy training, Nigeria used it for the management
courses particularly relating to agriculture, Sri Lanka used it primarily for family planning
and health etc. This paper makes an attempt to trace the evolution and growth of Radio as a
tool of education, particularly distance education in the developing countries. Apart from
that, the paper also makes an attempt to outline the content of the Radio programmes across
these countries of the world. Last, but not the least, an attempt will also be made to evaluate
the role of Radio in distance education in the context of the emerging communication
technologies and open learning resources in the contemporary period.
Keywords: Developing countries, distance education, educational tool, radio.
This paper was presented in the International Conference on Developmental Interventions and Open Learning
for Empowering and Transforming Society organised by Krishna Kanta Handiqui State Open University,
Guwahati during 16-17 December, 2017. The paper has been published in the Conference volume of Selected
papers (December, 2017) (ISBN: 9788193466902).
* Working as Assistant Professor in Economics with Krishna Kanta Handiqui State Open University,
Guwahati, Assam, INDIA. E-mail:
^ Working as Assistant Professor in History with with Krishna Kanta Handiqui State Open University,
Guwahati, Assam, INDIA. E-mail:
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“...silent open learning is defective.”
Hillary Temple (as cited in Rowntree, 1996, p. 108)
Radio developed in the 20
century and initially it found very few listeners. Radio
broadcast began in locations as Detroit and Pittsburg. In 1922, there were 30 radio station
transmitters and by the year 1942, it had become a part of the day to day life of the people.
According to Folarin (as cited in Okwu, Kuku & Aba, 2007), radio has always been a
favoured medium of mass communication as it is easily understood by the laymen and the
intellectual alike. It also acts as an effective tool of instruction as it can overcome the barrier
of distance and reach the larger audience quickly.
Educational radio gradually gained popularity because it was seen as a powerful tool to
support education by supplementing printed texts with technology. Educational programmes
were broadcast on radio by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) for schools in1920.
The first adult education programme to be broadcast on radio was a talk released by BBC in
the year 1924.
In India, radio broadcast began with the establishment of “Radio Club of Bombay” in 1923.
Gradually, the Calcutta Radio Club, the Indian Broadcasting Company, Akashvani Mysore
came up. It was in the year 1936 that the ISBS (Indian State Broadcasting Company) was
given the name of All India Radio (AIR) (Vyas, Sharma & Kumar, 2002). By the year 1947
there were six radio stations in India, located at Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta, Madras,
Tiruchirapalli and Lucknow.
Radio broadcast in India has been used in non-formal education aimed mostly for the school
drop outs, illiterate adults, farmers etc. and formal educational broadcast was meant for those
pursuing primary, secondary and higher education. In primary and secondary education too,
radio was used along with the aid of printed texts.
The thrust area of the paper revolves round the evolution of radio as a tool of
education- formal and non-formal. The objectives of the study are:
to trace the rise and growth of radio broadcast as an educational tool,
to outline the use of radio for developmental purpose, and
to evaluate the role of radio in ODL in the wake of emerging technologies
The study is qualitative in nature. It is based on the survey of literature, which are
available mostly from the secondary sources.
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In this section, we shall briefly discuss the use of radio in the developmental agenda
of the counties, with particular emphasis on developing countries.
2.1 Use of Radio with Specific Agenda: The Case of Farm Radio Forum
One of the most dominant and widespread examples of the use of educational radio is known
as "Farm Radio Forum." Farm Radio Forum (FRF) was initiated in Canada in 1941, where
radio was used as a discussion forum. Subsequently, many developing adopted this model.
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), the Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA)
and the Canadian Association for Adult Education (CAAE) were the sponsors of the
programme. A decade later, UNESCO was invited to evaluate the programme, particularly to
look into its effectiveness on adult education.
The Canada model had a few components, which was unique viz., broadcast and printed
materials as a two-way communication and various production techniques (discussion
forums, drama, interview, panel discussion). This model was later introduced under the
initiatives and sponsorship of UNESCO in India in 1956 and in Ghana in 1964. The basic
educational components of the radio programs for rural forums dealt with the problems of
agriculture, rural development, rural education, innovations, self-government and literacy.
Such radio forums were also subsequently introduced in many other developing countries.
The success of the FRF lies in the fact that it shaped the approach of the farmers towards their
problems and motivating them for rural leadership. As an experiment in adult education
broadcast, the FRF aimed to bring the rural farmers of Canada to work collectively for
improving their status (Conger as cited in Heden & King, 1984).
2.2 The Case of Radio Clubs in Benin Republic
In the 1960s, small radio listening groups were formed in the Benin Republic to educate rural
peasant farmers of the country. What began initially as a crusade started by Glegnon-
Todokoun to prevent the cutting of palm trees of wine later developed into the formation of
Agricultural Radio Clubs (Bayo, 2016). Apart from the "Radio Clubs," national and
departmental committees were also formed. The village chiefs acted as presidents of the radio
clubs. Animators were also used as group leaders. Group discussions were carried out after
listening to the broadcasts, and the animators provided reports on group discussions.
(Anyanwu, 1978).
As an initiative of an adult education programme, the radio clubs aimed for the agricultural
growth, productivity and served as a platform to continue to fight against underdevelopment
(Bayo, 2016).
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In this section, an attempt has been made to evaluate the effectiveness of educational
radio in the field of education with certain select cases from a few developing countries.
3.1 Benin Republic
After one and a half years of the introduction of “Radio clubs”, an evaluative study was
undertaken to assess the affects of the programme on the peasant farmers. Following the
evaluative study, various reform measures were undertaken which also include the formation
of a National Committee. In the newer version of the programme, apart from the general
education agenda, topics on rural life and general motivation were also taken up. The various
components of the programme included messages from the radio clubs, questions and
answers relating to the practice of agriculture, and general motivational issues. Subsequent
evaluative study undertaken after a year revealed that rural radio is an effective instrument of
information and education among the rural peasants (Anyanwu, 1978).
Anyanwu mentions:
[Through education from the radio, the peasants have grown to understand how to work
better, even with the use of new implements which also require new techniques for the
development of agriculture. The success achieved in this direction has demonstrated that
through collective listening, discussion, and the use of audio-visual aids, the radio can
contribute substantially to the process of transformation of agricultural traditions, as
well as some social and economic attitudes in general (p. 15- 16).]
(Anyanwu, 1978)
3.2 Ghana
Similar to the study in India, a UNESCO funded study was undertaken by Abell (1968) in
Ghana to assess the effect of group listening to rural radio forums. Abell conducted his
research study on the "Eastern Region of Ghana". For the study, sixty experimental forums
were organized in forty villages, while forty more villages were designated as controls.
Twenty programmes were broadcast once a week from December, 1964 to April, 1965
exclusively. Out of the twenty programmes, five programmes dealt with issues relating to the
practice of agricultural while the rest took up the issues like family living, national policy,
and relationships with government. Each forum met on the day of the broadcast and
exchanged ideas on the topic, then listened to the broadcast and discussed it. After the last
session, forum members as well as the control group (non-forum members) were interviewed
on what they had learned from the broadcasts. The results revealed that forum members
learned more than the non-forum members. According to a study (NHD, 2009), radio forums
have been successful in encouraging the rural population.
3.3 India
An evaluative study undertaken by Neurath (1959) under the sponsorship of UNESCO made
a study on the effectiveness of Farm Radio Forum in Pune, India. He compared 145 forum
villages with non-forum villages. The forum lasted for ten weeks with a total of twenty
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programs. Each forum had twenty members who came together twice a week to listen to a
thirty-minute program on subjects such as agriculture, health, and literacy. Forum members
were interviewed before and after the project as were samples of twenty adults from each of
the control villages. Each forum was visited and observed four times during the project. It
was found that forum members learned much more about the topics under discussion than did
adults in villages without forums.
According to Neurath (1959):
[Radio farm forum as an agent for transmission of knowledge has proved to be a success
beyond expectation. Increase in knowledge in the forum villages between pre- and post-
broadcasts was spectacular, whereas in the non-forum villages it was negligible. What little
gain there was occurred mostly in the non-forum villages with radio (p. 105).]
Jain (as cited in Nwaerondu & Thompson, 1987) also made an evaluative study on the
effectiveness of rural radio forums in India. In this study, he selected a number of villages in
one area and formed a volunteer group of adult farmers in each of those villages. The groups
then listened to a twenty-five minute recorded broadcast on a topic of current rural interest.
After the programme, some of the group members followed it up with group discussion or
decision making or both, while others were assigned no further action. Subsequent tests
showed that the groups which listened to the radio programmes and had undertaken
subsequent assigned activities revealed more changes in beliefs and attitudes towards
innovation than the group of listeners without any further activities. Thus, the study found
that subsequent group decision making was an important factor in undertaking a more
informed action and working together towards the solutions.
3.4 Thailand
Punasiri and Griffin (1976) made a study to evaluate the pilot project of Farm Radio Forum
Pilot project of Thailand. They conducted interviews with specialists, discussions from
listening groups, announcements, and answering questions from the groups. The study found
that after the radio programme, the two-way flow of information between the farmer and the
extension workers had improved. The frequency of farmers' contact with extension agents
increased as farmers felt that the agents were trying to provide information directly relevant
to their perceived needs. Retention of information and overall learning also considerably
improved because of high interest in the content and the reinforcement of messages by
various communication channels. Other than the radio programme itself, these channels
included literature and field visits by extension agents and technicians.
In this section, an attempt has been made to evaluate the effectiveness of educational radio in
particular context of open and distance learning with certain select cases from a few
developing countries.
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4.1 Bangladesh
Bangladesh Open University (BOU) uses radio and television broadcasts and audio cassettes
to supplement the printed materials. Evaluative study has shown that learners the quality of
the self learning materials of BOU, radio and TV programs and audio cassettes are good for
self study (Rumble, 1995; Ali et al., 1997 as cited in Islam et al., 2006). However, the
effectiveness of the TV and radio programs has been limited owing to short duration of
broadcasting by the government owned TV and radio stations. In addition, frequent power
problems also have adversely affected the broadcast of radio and TV programmes. (Islam et
al., 2006).
Among other activities relating to distance education, it can be mentioned that Radio
Bangladesh, established way back in 1939 now broadcasts 166 hours per day through 4
channels and 8 broadcasting stations. (Creed & Perraton, 2001).
4.2 China
In China, distance education first started as correspondence education in the 1950s. In 1978
the State Council approved the establishment of the China Central Radio and Television
University (CCRTVU) with 28 Provincial Autonomous Regional and Municipal Television
Universities (PRTVUs). By 1990 this television-university network had already produced
2.31 million graduates and according to 1996 official figures “1.4 million or 24.4 per cent of
its 5.8 million students in higher education were studying through distance education”
(Perraton as cited in Creed & Perraton, 2001).
4.3 India
In 1982, the first Open University was established is Andhra Pradesh, viz., Dr. Bhim Rao
Ambedkar Open University (BRAOU). However, it was only with the establishment of Indira
Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) in 1985 that ODL got a formal recognition and
direction in India (Prasanth 2000; Syed, 2009). India launched its first exclusive
educational FM Radio channel- Gyan Vani under IGNOU (Chandar & Sharma, 2003). Radio
has been extensively used by ODL institution for its educational activities. Gyan Vani. In a
study by Gaba and Sethy (2010) conducted among the learners of IGNOU, it was found that
the accessibility of FM Radio was 80% which is impressive. It was also revealed that many
learners found the Interactive Radio Counselling (IRC) as helpful but only for those who
could spare their time. In yet another study of the Gyan Vani programmes, Arulchelvan and
Viswanathan (2006), found that many of the learners were not aware of the programmes
broadcast by Gyan Vani. Similarly, the study found that the medium of instruction, course of
study affect the use of radio.
Krishna Kanta Handiqui State Open University (KKHSOU), in Assam, has made full use of
radio as a tool of education and learning. Besides, Jnan Taranga, KKHSOU also offers
special educational programme “Ekalavya’ through radio network as AIR Guwahati and
Dibrugarh. Launched way back in 2011, the programme has been aired regularly every
Saturday and Sunday from 8.00 – 8.30 p.m. Ekalavya programmes are meant for the distance
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learners as course based programmes are broadcast, also issues of social interests are also
being broadcast for the general listeners.
4.4 Indonesia
Indonesia has used radio as a catalyst for development both in primary and higher education
levels of distance education. Prominent uses of radio includes: the Diklat SRP programme.
The Diklat SRP is a radio-based primary school teacher’s in-service training programme of
three-year duration and has a total of 80 credits. This course is used to upgrade teachers to D-
II standard. Programmes are broadcast through the State Radio Station twice a day, six days a
week and are scheduled for school break time in the morning and repeated in the evening or
night. Teachers divide themselves into listening groups and use the twenty-minute broadcast
as a starting point for further discussion and activities found in accompanying print and
audio-visual materials. Evaluative results undertaken by UNESCO in 1999, show that urban
and rural teachers evaluate the programmes positively although the quality of the
programmes – such as variation of presentation, appropriate activities and illustrations
needs improvement. The Diploma-II Air has similar qualities to Diklat but uses a richer
combination of multimedia learning resources – videos, radio broadcasts, and print materials,
listening groups and tutorials.
(Creed & Perraton, 2001).
4.5 Nigeria
Owing to many social circumstances, radio has remained a natural and effective choice for
educating a large section of her population, particularly the nomadic community. Yet, owing
to many problems, the country has not been able to utilise its full potentialities. Major
constraints include the problem of airtime, skeletal provision for distance education in the
National Policy of Education, lack of funding and government monopoly of broadcasting.
(Creed & Perraton, 2001). Researchers have suggested that Nigeria would need greater
deregulation and privatisation of the communication sector. Another solution would be
dedicated educational channels or dedicated time on the Government network (UNESCO
cited in Ibid.)
Community radio stations have been defined as “not-for-profit radio services designed to
operate on a small scale and to deliver community benefits. Community broadcasting
involves radio by and for the community, be it a physical community or a community of
interest” (Myers, 2011). Its distinct character can be summarized as follows:
It should be run for social gain and community benefit, not for profit.
It should be owned by and accountable to the community that it seeks to serve.
It should provide for participation by the community in programming and
management. (Myers, 2011)
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The term community radio may also be defined by different names. The World Association
of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) has given its members the prerogative to
define it themselves:
[Community radio, rural radio, cooperative radio, participatory radio, free radio,
alternative, popular, educational radio. If the radio stations, networks and production
groups that make up the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters refer to
themselves by a variety of names, then their practices and profiles are even more varied.]
The World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) further states:
[Community radio responds to the needs of the community it serves, contributing to its
development within progressive perspectives in favour of social change. Community
radio strives to democratize communication through community participation in different
forms in accordance with each specific social context.] Siriyuvasak, U. (2002).
Thus, what is important in defining the radio service as ‘community radio’ is that community
radio is basically participative in nature.
5.1 History and Growth of Community Radio in Developing Countries
Among the developing countries, the first community radio service came up as Radio
Sutatenza, in Colombia in 1947. This community radio service aimed at rural areas with the
emphasis on rural development, liberation, and literacy. Following the Colombia success, the
tin miners in Bolivia set up and managed a community radio service in 1949, which also
served as a radical alternative to the government. Soon, the radio series was attacked by the
military for providing political information and a voice for the oppressed during times of
political upheaval.
In the African region, the first community radio station came up in Kenya in 1982. However,
only since the 1990s, community radio has seen the real surge in its growth both in Africa
and worldwide. In fact, it has grown faster than either state or commercial radio. Community
radio is perhaps at its most diverse in Africa: from pastoralist stations in remote deserts, to
youth music stations in urban slums.
Unlike the African region, the Asian region has witnessed a slow take off. In South Asia, the
picture is dominated by India, which introduced pro-community radio legislation as recently
as 2006. Nepal is another recent success story for community radio. Bangladesh and
Afghanistan are slowly becoming more positive: Bangladesh approved community media
legislation in 2008, and in Afghanistan there are currently about 35 independently owned
community stations in a difficult but increasingly less controlled press environment.
However, Pakistan and Bhutan currently prohibit non-profit based community stations, and in
Sri Lanka the national broadcasting corporation, the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation
(SLBC), operates many local stations with some community radio characteristics but that are
rarely critical of the government.
It has been estimated that in the Southeast Asia region, Thailand tops the region’s charts with
about 5,000 community stations–most of them operating without licenses. In Indonesia,
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community radio has also taken off rapidly, but the number of stations is in the hundreds
rather than thousands. The Philippines counts more than 55 community radio stations
independent of government and commercial interests operating outside the cities and using
low powered transmitters. Other developing countries in the region, viz., Laos, Burma,
Malaysia, and Vietnam continue to suppress community media in varying degrees. By
contrast, Cambodia’s media scene is relatively free but with only a handful of internationally-
backed community radios. (Myers, 2011)
5.2 Impact of Community Radio in the Field of Education and other Developmental
Community radio has come with varied agenda that can broadly be categorised as educational
and non-educational. It has been argued that the fundamental value of community radio–
when properly done–lies in its “community-ness”: its capacity to speak to and for a group of
people to express and enrich their identity. Community radio can often be a catalyst or a
rallying point for the community for development (Myres, 2011). Here, we mention a few
instances of the impact made by community radio primarily in the field or education, though
a few other developmental interventions have also been mentioned.
5.2.1 India
Research studies to evaluate effectiveness of community radio in India suggest a few positive
changes in the field of education and women empowerment among others. For example,
Namma Dhwani (our voices), is the India’s first cable community radio station started
broadcasting in Karnataka in 2003. It was launched as a partnership effort of the Budhikote
community, and NGOs MYRADA and VOICES with financial support from UNESCO. An
evaluative study of the Namma Dhwani community radio service has highlighted a few
positive changes. It enhanced the participation of women in programme making and created
awareness among the women listeners about health and sanitation, education, food habits and
family system and significant change was happened in the lives of women. It also developed
leadership qualities/behavior among the women listeners. Another popular community radio
Radio Namaskar’, was launched in Orissa on July 11, 2010 by Young India, a civil society
organization. Evaluative study indicates that the community radio enhanced the four aspects
of womens’ lives, viz., psychological, economic, cultural, political and social. Radio
Namaskar has increased awareness about the rights of the women, access to information,
ability to speak in the public and also earning of income (Yalala, 2015).
In India the concept of community radio is quite of a recent origin. Community Radio
became a reality only when in 2002, the Government decided to issue licence to the
educational institutions such as universities and technical schools to establish the Community
radio for educational purpose. Anna University launched the first Community radio known as
Anna FM becoming India’s first community radio that was launched in 2004.
In Assam, community radio stations have been launched by the KKHSOU and Institute of
Distance and Open Learning (IDOL), Gauhati University. KKHSOU launched its
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Community radio service “Jnan Taranga” in 2009, but it was formally launched as a regular
broadcast only from 2010. Jnan means “knowledge” and Taranga means “wave”. Broadcast
on air at 90.4. MHz, Jnan Taranga, serves as a platform for the dissemination of knowledge
and information to the learners and the general audience. The radio also serves the purpose of
providing learner teacher interaction, discussion on important issues and development in the
field of education and society or community. Jnan Taranga has been successful in reaching
out to a large audience and garnered their immense support despite the fact that its coverage
is limited to a radius of 15km. Jnan Taranga is striving for more participatory based
programmes. Women based programmes are also broadcast through Jnan Taranga. Some of
the programmes aired on Jnan Taranga are Sahitya Chora, Yuva Taranga, Alusona, Angana,
Bijnan Barta among others. Sahitya Chora is a programme where works of famous literary
personalities are being read out for the listeners. Yuva Taranga caters to the issues of the
youth. Alusona which means “discussion” is a programme which lays stress on issues of
everyday interests. Angana is a woman issues based programme while Bijnan Barta is
programme that caters to the interests of science lovers (Lama, 2012). The formats for the
programmes are mostly- discussions and interviews.
In 2011, IDOL, Gauhati University launched its campus radio station “Radio Luit” (90.8
FM). The radio is a non-profit initiative taken up by the Institute to reach out to the faculty
members, learners and the community at large. The Radio operates daily for 12 hours within
15km radius of the Campus. The members of the Institute both the students, the staffs
(academic), the community members from the local areas near the Campus, participate in the
Radio programme. Radio Luit has a programme “Baandhobi” which airs three times a day
with issue related to women’s health and nutrition.
5.2.2 Nepal
Community radio “Radio Swargadwariplayed an instrumental role in 2005, at the time
when fundamental civil rights were suspended during the 15-month regime of King
Gyanendra. Studies have shown that despite a public ban on the broadcast of news, Nepali
community radios found creative ways to advocate for civil and human rights by
broadcasting educational programs about the rights enshrined in the constitution and in some
cases by singing the news instead of speaking it. (Myers, 2011)
5.2.3 Tanzania
Orkonerei Radio Service (ORS) in Tanzania, popularly known as ORS FM is a community
radio station, primarily reaching the Maasai people in Tanzania. An evaluative study of the
community radio station mentions some positive changes, which includes: a) a strengthened
sense of identity and culture; b) improvement in women's lives through insights and
attainment of their human rights; c) empowerment of the Maasai community through
information and communication; d) and improved livelihood in general. The study also
highlighted eight specific changes that has been the result of ORS FM station. These includes:
a) the ability to speak together, understand, and develop identity through the use of Maasai
language broadcasts; b) preservation and promotion of the Maasai culture and traditions; c)
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education of Maasai children, especially girls; d) increased awareness of (women's) human
rights; e) improved efficiency in managing livestock; f) improved governance at all levels; g)
increased action around the environment and conservation; h) and improved health status,
especially among women. (Jallov & L-Ntale, 2007)
In this section, we shall try to present a summarised list of the contents of the
educational radio programmes in some other developing countries that have been left out in
our earlier discussion. This has been presented in Table 1.
Table 1: Select Developing Countries and Use of Radio on Educational/Community
Development Agenda
Countries Major Contents of discussion
For civics education (Byram, Kaute & Matenge, 1980).
Agricultural problems, problems of family living, national
policy, and relationships with government. (Nwaerondu &
Thompson, 1987).
To promote changes in farming practices and to improve
production (Ray as cited in Nwaerondu, & Thompson, 1987).
In support of correspondence courses (Kinyanjui, 1973).
For literacy training (Ouane as cited in Nwaerondu, &
Thompson, 1987).
For literacy training and other programs (Ginsburg & Arias-
Goding, 1984).
For health education (Cooke & Romweder, 1977).
To offer primary school instruction (Academy for Educational
Development as cited in Nwaerondu, & Thompson, 1987).
South Korea
In support of family planning (Park, 1967).
Sri Lanka
For family planning and health (Academy for Educational
Development as cited in Nwaerondu, & Thompson, 1987).
For public health purposes (Byram & Kidd, 1983).
To teach mathematics to school children (Galda as cited in
Nwaerondu, & Thompson, 1987), and for teacher training and
other curricula (Faulder as cited in Ibid).
The Dominion Republic
In support of primary education (White, 1976)
The Phillipines
For nutrition education (Cooke & Romweder, 1977).
Trinidad and Tobago
To promote knowledge of breastfeeding (Gueri, Jutsen &
White, 1978).
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Since its evolution, radio has played a pivotal role in the field of education. Radio
itself has evolved over the centuries, with varied radio services, e.g., community radio,
narrow cast, internet radio being introduced to the service of the people. But the basic tenet
has remained the same: reaching to the masses at a lower cost. Community radio has emerged
as a success in rural India. Community radio has motivated rural women to organise
themselves and act collectively. The potential of radio can be harnessed in the field of
education and specifically in ODL. The immediacy, the accessibility, the simplicity of the
medium etc has the power to sustain its relevance in the educational system. Counselling
through broadcast will ensure the positivity in the minds of the learner and will enable to
motivate them for their progress. Similarly, interactive radio programmes can open up a
dialogue between the teacher and the learner. In our discussion, we have seen effectiveness of
radio as an educational tool in many developing countries across the world. A state Open
University like KKHSOU can use radio extensively due to its low cost and flexible usages.
The University should take initiatives in setting up Community radio station at district
headquarters and regional office at Jorhat.
Abell, H.A. (1968). Assessment of the project. In H.C. Abell, W.F. Coleman & A.A.
Opoku (Eds.). An African experiment in radio forums for rural development: Ghana,
1964/1965. (pp. 22-70). Paris: UNESCO.
AIR: Growth and development, (2017). Retrieved from
Anyanwu, C.N. (1978). The agricultural radio clubs in the Republic of Benin: A case
study of cultural diffusion in West Africa. Nigeria: University of Ibadan.
Arulchelvan, S. & Viswanathan, D. (2006). Role and effectiveness of electronic
media in higher education- with special reference to Tamil Nadu. Turkish Online Journal of
Distance Education, 7(4), 18-35.
Bates, T. (2014, December 10). A short history of educational technology [Blog Post].
Retrieved from
Berman, S.D. (2008). The return of educational radio? The International Review of
Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 9(2), (n.p.). Retrieved from
Byram, M., & Kidd, R. (1983). A hands-on-approach to popularizing radio learning
group campaigns. Convergence, 16(4), 14-22.
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... Even on the financial front, a radio set is far cheaper than a television set and as a result, it is extremely significant to developing countries such as India. Sarmah and Lama (2017) state that radio became popular in the twentieth century although it enjoyed a relatively small audience in the beginning. In an article by Myriad Global Media (2018) it states that notwithstanding the digital revolution and the advent of social media, radio continues to be one of the most powerful, effective and significant instruments of communication in the twenty-first century. ...
Ever since the inception of radio in India, it has played a significant role as a medium of mass communication and entertainment. It must be noted that the technology used by radio has been in existence for almost over a century. Listening to morning news over radio has been reported as a habit widely practiced across the globe. Radio as a tool of communication has been preferred by not only activists and people’s movements but also by marginalized and stereotyped communities. This paper attempts to deconstruct the radio listening habits of the sex workers of Sonagachi (often referred to as the largest red-light district of Asia that harbors around 15,000 sex workers) in order to assess the role communication plays within the boundaries of the community. To arrive at conclusion, the researcher incorporated the usage of semi-structured in-depth interviews of five female sex workers, chosen with the application of snowball sampling technique. The findings of this study can be used to initiate the creation of a community radio station (a sustainable, sensible alternative for infotainment) or any other form of community public sphere for sex workers in Kolkata’s red-light districts. Further, it can be used to offer recommendations to government and policymakers who are responsible for establishing such stations for marginalized communities, essentially giving a voice to the voiceless.
... Radio broadcasting is a potent source of education as it has the capability to integrate education with real life experiences. Base on the benefit derive from radio educational programme, Sarmah and Lama (2017) noted that radio has continued to play a pivotal role in the field of education especially with regards to distance learning. Thus, radio education programmes during the COVID-19 period met the need of the respondents who had to tune on their radio sets for their classes. ...
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... Radio has an enormous tradition in the field of education. In one way or another, the majority of developing countries have used broadcasting for educational purposes [12]. Radio has served as a vehicle for distance learning, reaching remote areas [13]. ...
Conference Paper
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The current European sociodemographic context has brought attention to the problems relating the future of the elderly people. In response to this demographic trend, there is an urgent need for political, educational, and social programs that foster preventive and proactive measures that may benefit from the fact that the future elderly population has higher levels of literacy and information. School and media share a democratic responsibility that enables them to intervene in these social issues, fostering intergenerational dialogue. Particularly radio has been successfully used for decades as a medium for education and empowerment that can foster proximity through the use of its informal and unique relation to the ancestral connection with storytelling. The purpose of this paper is to discuss intergenerational programs associated with radio in the Iberian, Anglo-Saxon and North American contexts. The preliminary results indicate that the few existing programs promote active and healthy ageing, bring generations closer, increase participation in matters related to local communities and foster debate on global and multicultural issues.
Remote teaching and learning (RTL) is a system of education, wherein teachers and learners are not in the same location but separated by time and space. Global pandemics such as the COVID-19, necessitate social distance, thereby rendering traditional “contact” based classroom learning unfeasible. e-Learning which is a viable alternative often depends on reliable Internet. Unfortunately, Internet penetration in many areas of the world is still abysmally low. RTL in these under-served regions of the world is thus a major challenge. In this paper, we review the state of RTL and consider feasible options for under-served communities. Requirement for RTL, including data and associated cost of attending classes online are also considered. Finally, recommendations for achieving least cost RTL for under-served communities are given.
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A new member of the mega-Universities, Bangladesh Open University (BOU) introduced a course team approach for developing effective course materials for distance students. BOU teaching media includes printed course books, study guides, radio and television broadcasts, audiocassettes and occasional face-to-face tutorials. Each course team comprises specialist course writer(s), editor, trained style editor, graphic designer,illustrator, audio-visual producer and anonymous referees. An editorial board or preview committee is responsible for the final approval for publishing or broadcasting materials for learners. This approach has been proved to be effective, but appeared to be complicated and time-consuming. This report focuses on the quality and processes of BOU course materials development taking into account the strengths and weaknesses of the current approach.
Discusses Radio Learning Group (RLG) Campaigns, in which groups meet weekly with a trained leader, listen to radio programs, read study materials, and discuss the issues. Describes in detail the operational workshop held in Swaziland to train the leaders of the RLG Campaign. (SK)
Incl. bibl. Monograph on the use of educational radio in filling the needs for basic education in the rural areas of the Dominican Republic. Discusses an educational innovation making use of radio programmes and correspondence courses to provide primary education within an adult education programme - reviews questions of student sociology related to the participants of this programme and considers the special teaching methods and curriculum content required; studies the characteristics and duties of its field teachers and stresses the teacher/student relationship; also deals with educational administration, educational supervision and the increase in enrolment; compares levels of academic achievement to the conventional school system and describes the influence of the Santa Maria radiophonic school on community participation and attitudes towards social change; refers to comparative educational costs of this radiophonic system and mentions its role in life-long education and the democratization of educational opportunities; provides educational statistics.
The article evaluates a campaign to promote breast-feeding organized in Trinidad in 1974 by a private association of housewives. Advantages of breast-feeding were advertised in newspapers, television, and especially through the radio. A total of 418 women were interviewed for the first time after delivery at the hospital, and 4 months after that in their homes. The campaign reached 93% of the target population. There was a relationship between exposure to the campaign and knowledge of nutritional value of maternal milk, advantages of breast-feeding, and a relationship between knowledge of media messages and avoidance of the bottle before the infants were 2 months old.
Assessment of the project
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