Interview Fakhira Najib – Broadclass
Can you tell us about Broadclass ?
Broadclass is an educational instructional program. It is an interactive radio program, which is implemented in public schools. It was piloted in Islamabad, in KP and in South Punjab through radio. And it’s based on national curriculum 2009 for teaching English as a secondary language. The basic content is based on literacy, numeracy and some healthy habits for the early graders around 5 years of age. And we are implementing it with 50.000 children listening to this program daily.
Yes. Only in Islamabad. And 30.000 in KP.
How did you get the idea to teach children through radio ?
Actually I myself was a primary school teacher so I know at first hand that there are a lot of challenges in our education system. I have gone through them by myself. For example the capacity and the teaching skills are very important for a good education. If the teacher has no good way in providing the information for the children, if they are bored in school they won’t learn. Another challenges are e.g. the lack of resources or multigrid teaching. I kept all this challenges in my mind when I joined radio as a manager. There I realised that the two main issues on which we have to work are the access and the quality. These two things are very important for the education. And it came to my mind that radio can be a good source for both. But it was a long way from that thought to successful program today.
What kinds of characters or figures are in your radio program Broadclass ?
It has five different characters. Every 5 year old child is different from the other. Some are very social, some are emotional, and some are physically strong. Keeping in mind their individual needs, strengths and capacities these characters have been built. There is one character, a girl child, who wants to learn a lot. Then there is her brother who only learns through playing. And there is a teacher who is very friendly and interactive. Then there is a chachu (Uncle) who is a musician and loves to read and write poems for the children. The last one is a parrot for repetition and reinforcement.
Especially the repetition part from the parrot is very important, right ?
Yes. This is very important at this early stage. They also have another function. When there are quizzes in the program and the children don’t know the answer the parrot repetition helps them. So they don’t get frustrated.
So there is a lot of know how in didactics involved in Broadclass’s production.
Yes. These are very highly conceptualized programs. Also Broadclass is based on national curriculum 2009.
How are the people reacting on your radio program? How are teachers, how are listeners reacting on it ?
They are really enjoying this program. It is publicly broadcasted through radio and it’s implemented in many public schools. So what ever the children are learning in the classroom it’s not unfamiliar for the communities or the families. Also adults like to listen Broadclass e.g. in their workstations, during drive time or mothers in their kitchen. They know that their child in school is learning the same things at the same time. And the children of course like it a lot. All in all it has a tremendous impact on children and teachers.