Published: 01st September 2021
Why students of this Zilla Parishad School in Telangana are going gaga over radio
The school radio programme conducted at ZP High School (Girls), Sircilla, is helping in boosting the confidence of students and attracting more and more of them to come forward and present
Lunch breaks are a delight at the Zilla Parishad High School (Girls) in Sircilla, Telangana. Not for the obvious reasons but because of School Radio! While the full strength of 850 students indulge in their midday meals, every day, five to six students, in the span of 15 to 20 minutes, speak about anything under the sun — leadership, current affairs, book reviews, favourite quotes or even, occasionally, present a skit. It was back in November 2019 when a few teachers, including Thirupathi Cherala, Sridhar Manchala and Enjapur Venkatramulu attended a one-week training programme by Aruna Gali, the founder of School Radio, that helps schools set up a radio station of their own. It was Airtel's Bharati Foundation that adopted the school in 2015, who also helped conduct this session and bring in the necessary equipment required to set up the school's radio. After the necessary permissions from the District Education Officer were acquired, the school radio programme began running towards the end of 2019 itself. This month, with the reopening of schools after a long COVID-induced break, the school is hoping to restart this invigorating activity once again.
Bharati Foundation has helped conduct activities on different days in the school like Science Day and so on
"While all the precious equipment is housed in a separate room in the school, the speakers are installed in few areas of the corridors," shares Cherala. The schedule of speakers is finalised one to two days in advance and to those students who feel at sea, guidance is offered generously. So far, over 50 students have had the chance to share their thoughts via the school radio and many others have come forward after looking at their own friends. "We saw that the first and the foremost thing happening was that students were overcoming their fear of public speaking. It helped develop their personality and since a part of the lunch break was religiously dedicated to this, the students who were listening were learning a lot too," says the English teacher who has been teaching the subject for 11 years and 11 months.
The team | (Pic: Thirupathi Cherala)
While the school is co-ed (don't go by the name of the school) and has Classes VI to X with 15 sections in total, only students from VI to IX are allowed to participate in the radio programmes. "We are happy with the results this is producing. Children who participate have learnt to organise themselves and understood the importance of discipline," says the 40-year-old teacher. Being aware of the benefits, the teachers did not want to lose out on the opportunity to encourage more children, hence, during the lockdown, they tried putting together Zoom sessions. Unfortunately, they had to call it off after a few days because of internet connectivity issues. Once the school radio programme resumes, the plan is to conduct COVID-related presentations alone because of the impending third wave and the warning that it might affect children the most.
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