Since the impact of Cyclone Idai in 2019, which resulted in the deaths of over 1300 people in Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique, the Manicaland Province has prioritized development efforts regarding Disaster Risk Resilience, as well as strengthening the Emergency Management capacity of the vulnerable communities in this region.
Furthermore, the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in Zimbabwe had serious ramifications on the education sector such as the prolonged closure of schools leading to loss of teaching and learning time. This had an impact on education outcomes, numeracy, literacy and school infrastructure and capacity of schools to discharge their core activities of teaching and learning.
Remote learning is a viable alternative in terms of equipping teachers with skills to introduce remote learning options including teaching via radio. This is expected to improve access to education during and beyond difficult times when schools are forced to close. UNESCO trained teachers from Chimanimani, Nyanga and Chipinge in developing and broadcasting radio lessons as a means to deliver remote education and minimize the disruption of schooling for learners in regions vulnerable to natural weather hazards, landslides, and flooding.
The Radio Lessons Training workshop held from the 29th of June to the 1st of July 2022 in Chimanimani, was one of many training sessions in developing radio lessons that has been offered by UNESCO since June 2020.
Radio has become a necessity in areas such as Chimanimani due to the increasing and isolating incidences of natural disasters, as well as mitigating the impact of social distancing associated with Covid-19 control measures.
The training included the development of content and script writing, the use of gender inclusive approaches, the preparation and presentation of individual lessons on radio , the development of content on Disaster Risk Reduction, practical activity and action planning as well as a visit to the Chimanimani community radio broadcasting studio.
"The training on radio lessons opened my eyes on how I can empower my community through developing and presenting content on Radio".-Participating teacher
The establishment of community radio stations is just one scalable solution currently showcased in Nyanga, Chipinge and Chimanimani, accommodating Education systems that have transitioned to part remote and part in-class delivery.
These stations will also be utilized to implement Early Warning systems during hazardous weather, assuring the community of reduced disruption to communications.
Funded by the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) since June 2020, the radio lesson training programme has shown consistent attendance by Zimbabwe’s teachers and broadcasters who hope to see the number of radio broadcast stations delivering remote education, increase throughout the country.