'Teachers on air': 196 mini radio stations installed in Palawan

Considering the welfare of Filipino learners who are struggling due to the challenges posed by remote or online learning, the Schools Division Office (SDO) of Palawan has set up 196 mini radio stations as part of its Teachers on Air initiative.

(Photo from Deped)

The Teachers on Air initiative, which started in May 2020, is led by Rueben Herrera, who heads the Marikit Elementary School (MES) in Aborlan, Palawan.

"Presently, over 196 Radio Based Instruction (RBI) kits are installed and are being used by learners all over Palawan,” the Department of Education (DepEd) said in a statement on Sunday,

The department noted that other schools in SDO have replicated the RBI, which initially involved eight teacher broadcasters trained by Herrera.

“We know that elementary grade pupils are not independent learners. We know that the parents in our community will also be unable to guide their children in learning. Those were the deciding factors why we opted for RBI,” Herrera said.

“Our desire to continually guide our learners was the most important thing that we should be doing and we can only do it by teaching over the radio,” he added.

Deped cited that use of a phone patch system dubbed "Boses mo, Iparinig mo” has also been introduced by MES to make interaction between teachers and students easier.

"In addition, ‘BidaBest’ (Bida na,da Best pa) quizzes the learners on how well they understood the lecture. The teacher will then call a learner to have them recite their answers on air,” it added.

The department also cited MES’ launching of reading initiatives anchored on its Bawat Bata Bumabasa program, like the Mga Kwentong Marikit (Story Reading Time by learners), which makes reading fun, enjoyable, and accessible for learners.

For those who are unable to catch the lesson, MES has also developed other off-air enhancement activities, DepEd said.

Herrera and regional information officers train the teacher broadcasters.

It was the DepEd Central Office that conducted virtual scriptwriting and radio production training programs. These programs were implemented as early as September 2020.

Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones thanked all the teachers and educators for their continued support to the implementation of Basic Education-Learning Continuity Plan (BE-LCP) and distance learning.

“Efforts of teachers and educators are a big help to us. The passion that they are putting in to ensure that their learners remain curious and interested about learning is the essence of DepEd,” she said.