By Adesina Wahab
As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to keep students out of school and students from disadvantaged homes unable to afford online classes, ACE Charity, through its Ace Radio School, has commenced training of students in the area of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
In a statement by the Founder, Kiki James, the programme was initiated to.allow children in the rural areas and those from disadvantaged homes across the country have access to quality education despite the present circumstance foisted on the society by Coronavirus.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in school closures globally, and as a result, schools have had to adopt online learning methods to engage their students at home.
“However, in Nigeria, students from public schools are unable to access online learning systems because of the high cost of data or lack of ICT infrastructure. The pandemic has exposed the digital divide in this country and its effects on access to quality education. Children from rural and disadvantaged homes do not have the luxury of online learning.
“So, we started ACE Radio School as an emergency educational intervention to teach these children, because they are more likely to have a radio. ACE Radio School was launched on March 30, by ACE Charity, and engages primary and secondary children at home by teaching them about STEM and also Literacy topics.
“It currently airs in nine states and seven communities in Abuja, Kano, Adamawa, Borno, Nassarawa, Niger, Kogi, and Plateau states, and reaches over 18 million listeners.
“ACE Charity, which was initiated in 2010, is focused on providing quality education to Nigerian children. We are Malala fund champions who advocate for free education in Borno, Adamawa and Kano states.
“We have set-up safe spaces in Sokoto where they teach out-of-school children basic literacy and numeracy skills. We have also set up Learning Resource Centres (LRCs) in public schools in several northern states across the country to provide children with quality education.
“These LRCs are libraries that are fully equipped with computers, all the books required by the Nigerian curriculum and highly trained staff who provide these children with literacy, numeracy and ICT skills.”
On transitioning to ACE Radio School, she said, “it was simple. After the school closures from COVID-19, we knew we had to respond to this crisis quickly.
“We already have quality learning resources at our LRCs, which were developed based on the Nigerian curriculum. We just had to transfer knowledge and skills from the learning resources at these LRCs to develop a curriculum for ACE Radio School” said James.
“All ACE Radio School episodes are also translated to Hausa for broadcast in the northern states and uploaded on their YouTube Channel called ACE Radio School.
“You can listen to ACE Radio School on Wazobia FM, Freedom FM Kano, Radio Gotel Yola and Peace FM Borno. The full radio show schedule is available online at acecharityafrica.org,” she said.