COVID-19: C/River State acquires 8,000 decoders, takes education to hinterlands

GOV. Ben Ayade
GOV. Ben Ayade

CROSS River Government has acquired 8,000 Direct-To-Home (DTH) decoders to broadcast educational activities to children in the state following the shutdown of schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Godwin Amanke, Commissioner for Quality Education, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Calabar on Friday.

Amanke said that the decoders were distributed free-of-charge to households in the hinterlands to enable children in rural communities to access quality educational and instructions programmes even while at home.

He said the platform called “the Ayade Digital Learning Programme” became necessary owing to the global pandemic which had kept children away from school for weeks.

Amanke said the programme which would be anchored by the Cross River Broadcasting Corporation (CRBC), was primarily designed to give access to children, especially in the most remote Local Government Areas like Obanliku, Bekwarra, Yala and others.

“The platform became necessary so we do not waste time when schools finally reopens.

“Seventy per cent of the schools in the state had concluded their second term examination before schools were shut down in the state but for those that were yet to finish theirs, the children will go straight into examinations immediately after resumption.

“That is why we ensure that our children were learning even while at home.

“The 8,000 decoders with dishes which will be distributed and installed free-of-charge to households in the hinterlands will go with small solar panels to power at least two bulbs and a television set.

“For households without television sets, it is unfortunate because government would not be able to afford television sets for every household.

“We encourage those that have television sets to allow children of those that do not have share with them bearing social distancing in mind,” he said.

He, however, was not pleased with some private radio stations in the state who refused to partner with the state government in ensuring that children out-of-school still learned at home by charging the state so much.

“You have about six hours every day to play music but we are coming to you to collaborate and help our children and you are charging us so much.

“The airtime we are asking for is the same airtime you use in playing music that is of no relevance to our children but rather indoctrinates them into various vices.

“Radio stations must reduce their hours of entertainment because radio is also meant for education and information. We need to help keep our children abreast of their studies during this pandemic,” Amanke said.

Though religious and commercial activities in Cross River have been relaxed, schools are still shut down as a preventive measure to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. (NAN)

– May 29, 2020 @ 14:45 GMT |

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