It is worthy to note that in April 2020, Ebonyi State Ministry of Education launched EB-RTV Teacher programme, initiated and organized by the Hon. Commissioner for Education, Dr. Onyebuchi Chima, with the directive of His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. Chief David Nweze Umahi. The open and distance learning programme comes on air daily from 10:30 am to 11:30 am and 4:30pm to 5:30pm on EBBC Radio and TV, Unity FM Radio Nigeria Abakaliki and NTA Abakaliki. On Saturdays, teachers entertain questions live on the topic treated from Monday to Friday on the stated Media. The fundamental objective was for students and pupils in Ebonyi State to continue learning even as they are at home during this period of COVID 19 Pandemic.
Citizens’ Advocate went round Abakaliki Metropolis and beyond to survey the programme’s impact on students and pupils in the state.
My name is Mrs. Edenne Sarah, from Ameka Community, residing at Mbam Agbo Street Abakaliki. I so much appreciate the efforts of the initiators of EB-RTV Teacher programme, because it has actually been of immense benefit to students and pupils since COVID 19 pandemic started which really disrupted the academic activities worldwide. This programme has really helped students and pupils in the aspect of making them not playing away their time at home but participate in academic activities. The programme is also helping to sharpen the students’ knowledge and make them remember what they have been taught because learning is a continuous process; when you stop learning it makes you to become dormant, but with this e-learning, the children feel they are in school environment though this is a home learning.
I commend the initiators of the programme, I know they are encountering a lot of challenges, personal effort they are putting in and process of financing it, it is not easy. I urge philanthropist to support the programme. When children are left to remain at home playing, it makes them to become lukewarm and the academic activities will be set back but in this case I believe the children are not missing anything, they are actually participating and they are also learning new things and also revising what have been taught. Most time when I come back from work, my children, especially my daughter in JSS 1, would tell me how interesting, educative and what she learnt in the EB-RTV lesson for the day.
My name is John Okoha from Ntezi-Aba. The e-learning is a very welcome idea because not only when you go to school, you can learn from the house. Government has to look into it and see the possibility of creating more awareness and help students and parents to have access to it. There are a lot of challenges for us parents especially those in the rural area where there is no light let alone radio to listen to. The problem has been unavailability of electronic gadget. Children mostly listen to radio version of the programme, with their small radio or phone. Sometimes the teachers who are involve in this programme make it so difficult for student to fully participate because of their speed and pace of speech.
Elizabeth Okoha, from Ntezi Aba Community. Well, with regards to the e-learning in Ebonyi State, it is a welcome idea because it has actually improved my own mode of reading and I’m sure it is the same with other students who do listen to it for the fact that we left our books for long, but since this programme started, at least I do listen to it and I love physics. Whenever physics lesson is going on air I always draw my radio close to me with my writing materials ready for the lessons. When they give questions, I try to answer them though I don’t know where to send my answers but I do answer the questions. In fact, the e-learning we do every day helps to enlarge the way we think; it has helped students know that dropping their books is not an option that they should always be reading. I must commend the effort of the teachers, what they are teaching are in line with what we have learnt. I don’t only listen to my own subject for senior class I do listen to junior classes from SS1 down to JS3 because am already in SS2 almost in SS3, teachers are trying their best. I must say a very big thanks to Ebonyi State Government for packaging such a wonderful forum for us to learn again, it is my pleasure to be one of the students being taught through e-learning. Actually they followed time table, they give a particular subject that will be taught for the week during Saturday announcement and when they give the subject I revise my books, maybe Monday is mathematics I am already prepared that on Monday I will be learning mathematics, I will bring out my calculator, books and rough sheet, when they teaching, I will be doing some things on the book. Then the days of physics I don’t miss it just that sometimes I will be occupied by home chores. I must affirm that the present Commissioner for Education is trying, Government is really trying. The programme as I see it has come to stay even though schools should resume we have week days, we are all students and the teachers let me say they do the work 30%, the rest of the work are for us students to do. So we have to look for different ways to learn things and I think this is one of the ways we can learn more things not depending only on what we learn in school. The online or e-learning, I have been hearing about it but now it is here in Ebonyi State where we have access to it, you cannot subscribe for it rather on your radio at 10:30am you will be hearing it. So, it is a very wonderful idea that should be continued even if schools should be resumed, Saturdays are there, the teachers are ready to teach us relentlessly as far as government encourages them.
My name is Covenant Ofom Justice, from Ugwuachara Community The programme has really impacted positively on students and pupils because since Coronavirus started, a lot of school children have not opened their books to read but EB-RTV Teacher, has motivated students to remember what they were taught and learn new things. I will like to say a very big thanks to the organizers of the programme and also encourage them to continue the programme even when schools resume.
My name is Alex Nnenna, from Mile 50 Abakaliki. The EB-RTV Teacher is interesting and it has helped me very well. Most of the topics that they are going to be asking question in our Junior WAEC are taught in EB-RTV Teacher. I have been learning subjects like Mathematics, English Language, Igbo Language, etc. The teachers in the programme are doing well and I am of the opinion that the programme should continue because it helps students very well even in the areas they didn’t understand in class they can still pick from that programme.
My name is Nwite Chinenye, from Eziga Umunwagu Idembia in Ezza South LGA. The open and distant learning is a platform the Governor of Ebonyi State created to help students of the state in this COVID 19 Pandemic period. As we the students listen to the programme, we learn many things that we have not been taught in class. It creates time for us to listen and study, it keeps me busy instead of playing all through. I like listening to EB-RTV programme because it keeps me busy and I have learnt many things from it. I encourage my fellow students who prefer watching films to start listening to the programmes.
I am Mrs. Nwenna Lilian Ibiam from Enohia Itum Community in Afikpo North LGA. The EB-RTV is a very good one in the sense that the pandemic was a set back to school children and society at large. I commend the effort of the Hon. Commissioner for Education, Dr. Onyebuchi Chima for thinking out such worthy programme that kept our children abreast and busy within this period of the pandemic. During this period, the programme made the children to play less and I can tell you at that particular time my children all come and glue to the television or radio set to listen. This programme has indeed kept my children busy, it is a loft idea. I suggest that the programme should continue during weekends even when schools reopen, perhaps within that period of Saturday. Personally, I have observed the impact on my children. I therefore encourage Government to invite some students and pupils from a particular school once in a while to the TV or Radio studio so that they will see and interact with the teacher they hear their voices one on one and children be given small take away gifts like exercise book or something else to excite and motivate them; they will say within the period of COVID this is what the state Government was able to give us via EB-RTV.
Mr. Peter Nwafor, from Omege Umuezekeoha in Ezza North LGA. The EB-RTV Teacher programme is a good one but it came at a very wrong time when things are so difficult in the society. People are struggling to eat and didn’t have time to listen to radio. The programme is a novel one in the state; it needs enough sensitization before the commencement of the programme. Secondly, most families in Ebonyi State don’t have radio and those that have do not have money to buy battery. Government should do adequate sensitization for people to know about the programme and then it should be a regular programme whether there is crisis or not. I am suggesting that for the programme to work effectively, some economic policies should be reversed to enable parents buy radio or mobile phone for their children.
Mr. Jonathan Oroke, Omege Umuezekeoha in Ezza South. The EB-RTV Teacher programme is a good idea but a lot of students and pupils who are the target audience may not have the gadget to listen to the programme. To be frank with you, there are numerous shortcomings of the programme including; nobody to guide the children when teaching and learning are taking place, the programme is the type that cannot be reversed even when mistakes occur. To me, it should be better for the programme to be aired in the night when both parent and children will be around to listen. I think there should be slight adjustment, for instance, what we call stimulus variation whereby few students should be invited to the studio so that there will be live audience during recording. Apart from these few points, the programme is a lofty one.