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How media supported education amid COVID-19

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By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie

The free airtime provided by some media houses for school lessons by the Lagos State government helped to reach thousands of pupils who would have been left in the lurch during schools closures.

Lagos State Education Commissioner, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo said the state needed partners who could run the programmes for primary and secondary school pupils free of charge.

There are 764,979 pupils attending 1,017 public primary schools and 598,779 pupils in over 300 secondary schools run by the Lagos State government.  The Wazobia Media, Television Continental (TVC), and the state-run media station, Lagos Television (LTV8), were some of the stations that helped broadcast lessons accessible to the pupils, many of whom could not afford devices or data cost to access online classes.

“They have been playing a good role. We did not pay anything. They gave us free airtime on Wazobia, one FM station and TVC. We could not work with anybody who charged us because we just did not have money,” she told The Nation.

She added: “When it was clear that we had to lockdown schools, discussions commenced with various stakeholders within the educational sector in the state. The private schools talked about setting up online learning system for their students.  However with an understanding of our demographic in the public sector and the challenge faced by most students in having access to the internet, data and devices for online learning, we began to explore alternative channels to help the students learn seamlessly.”

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A public school teacher in Alimosho area, Mr. Jude Anakwe, said the programmes helped his students as well as his own children.

“I think the programme has given more students access to learning during the lockdown, especially since it is targeted at students in public schools, who are more in number than those in private schools,” he said.

Co-founder and chief executive officer of Wazobia Media, Tatiana Moussalli Nouri, said Wazobia Television and Wazobia FM have aired lessons every weekday, since March 30, 2020 in Mathematics, English Language, Chemistry, Physics, Financial Accounting, Biology, Economics, Yoruba and Literature in English.

He said the firm partnered with the government because of its commitment to education at such a difficult time.

“The educational broadcast by the Wazobia Media Brand is one driven by the commitment of the organization in adding value through investments that are incalculable in educating students and members of the society,”,said Tatiana.

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