Srinagar: Around the time schools in Kashmir were closed due to the covid-19 lockdown, some eighty teachers from all the districts of the valley took up the mantle of responsibility in their hands and set the gears and pulleys of the education machinery into motion making the impossible possible. In a span of four months during this year, All India Radio (AIR) broadcast some 380 radio classes prepared by these teachers.
Javid Hussain Kirmani, who organised a three-day orientation program on teaching through electronic media at the State Council of Education Research and Training (SCERT) Srinagar, informed a gathering of resource persons here Wednesday. The resource persons have been participating in radio classes for well over a period of two years now.
Eminent media persons including Riyaz Masroor, Special Correspondent, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Syed Humayun Qaiser, Ex Director AIR, Kashmir and Talha Jahangir, Program Executive AIR, Kashmir also participated in the event.
Kirmani, who works at the SCERT Srinagar, is in charge of the radio lessons.
“Though a daunting challenge, the commitment and the courage of the teachers made it look like a simple task,” he said. “With no prior experience of conducting such classes, I’d say our teachers did fairly well.”
The teachers, Kirmani said, were encouraged to record the lessons on their mobile phones within the confines of their own homes.
“They’d send the recorded lectures to me and I’d forward them to the concerned official at the radio station,” Kirmani said. “The arrangement worked well and soon a team was formed.”
Since the team lacked the nuances of preparing the lessons, we felt the need to enhance their skills via an orientation program.
While appreciating the newly launched education policy aka NEP 2020 for its ‘flexibility’, Riyaz Masroor said there is a need to shun phobias of every nature to cultivate novel ideas.
“Sadly, making mistakes is still considered a taboo in our learning system,” Masroor said. “It’s in fact the mistakes that lay a strong foundation towards learning things in a broader sense.”
While describing radio as an ‘outdated’ tool in the modern era driven by internet technology, Masroor said a major chunk of our population especially in the rural areas still rely on classic tools such as a radio.
“Radio, as an education tool, should only be employed under extraordinary situations, such as, the lack of internet,” he said. “We must embrace newer technologies to enable a student to assume a greater role in the learning process.”
Syed Humayun Qaiser elaborated on education through radio and explained most of the broadcasting principles.
“It is the broadcaster’s job to convey proper information to the audience,” he said. “More the commitment and interest with which this is done, the more successful it will become.”
The success of a class, Qaiser said, depends on the extent of his preparedness more so when radio is the medium.
Noted broadcaster, Talha Jahangir, while underlining the role of the radio in education, stressed upon the relationship between a teacher and a pupil in his typical way.
“A teacher should be ready to drop himself to the level of the pupil,” Jahnagir said. “The content in radio classes should be absolutely straightforward and simple.”
Director School Education Kashmir, Dr Tasaduq Hussain Mir, who was the chief guest at the closing ceremony, said it has become very important to bring teachers in line with the modern-day requirements as the technology is developing very fast.
“It is necessary to keep ourselves up-to-date,” he said. “Amid a host of means available to a child nowadays, it becomes more important that a teacher updates himself with the most updated concept on a topic.”
Dr. Rabia Naseem, academic officer, SCERT, gave a detailed lecture on the importance of correct pronunciation while speaking on the radio. Dr. Jan Mudassir Gul, academic officer, gave valuable tips with regard to writing the script for a radio program.
Sheikh Gulzar Ahmed, academic officer, SCERT, highlighted the educational requirements of the 21st century.
The program ended with the distribution of certificates among the participants.