Using radio to support remote learning

Finding the right solutions

Using radio to support remote learning

You can use radio lessons to teach children who do not have access to television or the Internet. If students do not have radios, they may be able to use MP3 players or mobile phones to listen to recorded lessons.

Radio lessons normally last for around 30 minutes and should be fun and engaging. They might include songs, stories, quizzes and games.

Deciding what to teach


Some subjects are harder than others to teach on the radio. For example, it can be difficult to teach people to read using radio lessons.

You need to find out what subjects parents and children care about most. For example, do parents value maths more than history?

Age and ability

It is important to prepare lessons for children of different ages and abilities.

This does not mean that you need to prepare lessons for each class. Can you prepare lessons for children from two or three different grades? Or, can you prepare lessons for children who have similar test scores?


Children, especially those in primary school, need to speak and understand the language used in radio lessons.

In countries with many different languages, you need to think how you can support children who do not speak the national language. Can parents or siblings help translate lessons? Can local study groups offer support?

Existing radio lessons

To save time and money, you can adapt old radio lessons, or lessons used in other countries, to meet the needs of children today.

Using other communication channels to support radio

You can use other communication channels to help children and parents benefit from radio lessons.

We suggest that you use SMS to send parents information, tips and encouragement, and telling them

  • when programmes will be broadcast
  • the activities parents should do with their children
  • the homework should children should complete

Radio hosts can invite students to phone the station to ask questions about lessons or to talk with expert teachers.

If people do not have access to these communication channels, it may be possible for teachers or volunteers to visit students in the community. 

Evidence from the Ebola crisis tells us that children are unlikely to benefit from radio lessons without the guidance of a trusted adult or sibling.

Building on radio lessons in the future

You need to consider how to improve and expand on radio lessons in the future.

Can you send parents and children learning exercises on paper? This could be a page in the local newspaper, a new textbook or an activity book for parents.

Can parents and children call a toll-free phone number to listen to pre-recorded information?

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