The Communicators (Pvt.) Limited is implementing Broad Class Listen to Learn Interactive Radio Instruction Program (IRI) in public schools of Islamabad, Abbottabad, Haripur and Vehari, Pakistan to improve literacy, numeracy and healthy habits among young children (aged 5-9 years) of marginalized public schools. Radio sets with dry batteries and built-in sound system are provided to target classrooms. The radios have USB and memory card options, so that teachers can use recorded lessons in the classroom when there is no radio transmission, if required. The radio program uses broadcasts to bring student-centered instruction to primary classes. The content covers all basic skills in curriculum (including literacy, numeracy, English and life skills). Audio lessonsguide teachers and students through activities, games, and exercises that teach carefully organized knowledge and skills which are culturally, linguistically and contextually relevant to marginalized populations. During short pauses built into radio scripts, teachers and students participate in program, reacting verbally and physically to questions and exercises posed by radio characters. The program is implemented through baseline survey, teacher trainings, provision of radios and resource materials to partner classrooms, broadcasting of lessons through radio, technical assistance and monitoring and evaluation.Members of school councils/communities are also sensitized on importance of education and involved in program activities. The program improves both quality and equity of education;significant learning gains for all participants, including gains in girls achievement and closing the rural/urban education gap and increased access for out-of-school learners.
The overall goal of the program is to learning achievements in literacy and numeracy of girl and boy students in primary grades. The program focuses on improving literacy: vocabulary, storytelling, wordplay, sound discrimination; numeracy: problem-solving, numbers and counting, cause and effect; healthy habits: physical, social and emotional health. The program improves teaching and learning in basic subjects in primary schools; promotes child centered practices at primary level in target area; improves quality of teachers through several capacity building measures; reduces dropouts and increase retention rates, and; increases participation of parents in schools through planned motivational programs.
The in-school program was initially piloted in 45 schools in five urban and rural areas of Islamabad, reaching approximately 120 classrooms. A dry battery radio was provided to each target classroom, to ensure that schools where there are frequent electricity outages do not miss out on lessons. The 30-minute radio broadcasts are aired daily, except for Sundays, exam days, and holidays. Because the program is publicly broadcasted, out-of-school children have access to the lessons as well, and parents are able to listen and encourage continued learning at home.
In addition to student-centered learning broadcasts, the program provides support to teachers including an initial three-day training on how IRI works and how to facilitate the classes, as well as additional 20-minute teacher-focused radio broadcasts featuring teacher guides and other educational material.The project targets children in greatest need of quality instructions, learning environment and experience. The project harnesses the experiences that would reflect children’s own reality and experience through radio.
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Model details2012For-profitEnglish languageMath/numeracyActiveLong-term projectFree service or product4,50033%67%
120 classrooms in 45 schools participate in the "Broad Class - Listen to Learn" in-school program.March, 2013
The pilot phase of "Broad Class - Listen to Learn" was implemented in 45 schools in 5 rural/urban areas of Islamabad, reaching about 5,000 students in 120 classrooms. The pilot project is near completion, with a total of 76 lessons aired through February 2013. Given the success and positive response of the students, teachers, parents, and Education Officials, a funding for an additional year has been approved and a scale-up is underway, aiming to target 6,000 students (KG - Grade 2) in an estimated 66 public schools in the rural areas of Haripur.
Pakistan's Federal Directorate of Education is currently engaging with Broad Class's funder, Ilm Ideas, and implementer Communicators (Pvt) Ltd., to develop strategies for extending this program to all schools in the Islamabad Capital territory areas.
Monitoring & EvaluationYes
The Monitoring and Evaluation team at The Communicators (Pvt.) Ltd is responsible for monitoring the program. An initial baseline assessment was conducted for the Pilot project, and a mid-term assessment also took place which aimed at gauging the current level of understanding of students in KG, Grade 1, and Grade 2, getting feedback from teachers regarding the program, and assessing the level of satisfaction the parents had regarding their child’s education as a result of the intervention. Additionally, Power 99 FM staff made regular visits to the classrooms during the pilot to observe the implementation of the program and provide technical assistance to teachers. The main data assessment tools used included a Knowledge Assessment, Teachers Feedback Form, and Parents Satisfaction Survey Questionnaires. 15% of the targeted 45 schools were sampled.Internal assessment performanceUser satisfactionStudent attendanceStudent retentionIncreased enrollmentNoDownloadYes
Teachers reported that students showed a heightened level of interest in learning in school and had a major boost in their confidence level as a result of the program. Segregation of the results by gender showed girls were more responsive than boys, while a detailed qualitative analysis of the Parents' Questionnaires showed that the Parents have expressed a highly positive attitude towards the program.