An evaluation of perceptions regarding the impact of Local Radio Stations on Primary and Secondary Education in Chipata district
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At the time of writing, the education standards in Chipata had been falling over the years due to lack of teachers and learning materials in learning institutions. The main purpose of the study was to showcase that local radio stations in Chipata district were contributing to the enhancement of education in the district. This study attempted to find out to what extent this was being done. In trying to make this possible the researcher distributed 100 questionnaires to respondents in Chipata Urban but only 94 were collected and 80 for the rural population in Chipata but only 62 were collected. Urban in this study was understood to be the area in the radius of about 10km from the Chipata Post Office. Rural was beyond 10km. The idea of having two places was to draw a parallel in the study. Methods like Focus Group Discussion, in depth interview, and observation were employed. The study was not necessarily evaluating Interactive Radio Instruction (IRI) lessons but it looked at the programming both academic and non academic. Besides IRI programmes broadcast mainly by Radio Maria, the other programmes broadcast by the two stations are very appropriate in raising awareness on issues such as HIV/AIDS, early pregnancies and vices which in the long run can affect the pupils in school. The study found that local radio stations in Chipata are, to a great extent, helping to enhance the standards of education in Chipata district. The Managing Director of Breeze FM has taken it upon himself to go round schools in the district and challenge examination classes to take their studies seriously. These initiatives are going a long way to lift education standards. The study recommended, among other things, the need to have an organization which should co-ordinate education activities like IRI, community literacy classes and the local radio stations.