Educational broadcasting usually comprises a series of programmes on a subject, like the sequence and chapters of written material of a book, so designed to assist the educational process. Radio programmes falling under educational broadcasting are normally planned in conjunction with the prescribed syllabus.
In worldwide belief use of radio for educational purposes has its own history. The broadcast medium has been used both for curriculum based and general educative purposes. “School Broadcast” was already established before the Second World War. United states, Australia and united kingdom has successfully woven the radio programmes into the normal school time tables. During and immediately after the Second World War a shortage of teachers was felt in Japan. At that time radio helped to compensate the lack of teaching personnel in various disciplines. Later radio was given new roles.
General Educative Role: Radio has been extensively used to teach languages, civic sense, social values, music, hobbies and life long educational requirements.
Role in third world Countries: In the third world countries like Pakistan with a high rate of population growth, lower GNP and per capita income non developed communication and wide spread illiteracy, it is difficult to allocate required resources to education sector. Hence the non formal educational approaches with modern means of communication, including radio should be used for the spread of education.
Others areas of life: In Pakistan during 60’s and early 70’s radio has been used to re-inforce the formal school curriculum under “School Broadcasts”. This category of programmes is now no longer broadcast from radio Pakistan. However, radio is used in other educative areas like religion agriculture and community development.
RADIO PROGRAMMES IN TERMS OF PROGRAMME FORMATS
The different kinds of educational radio programmes can also be studied in terms of programme formats. Programme format refers to the production techniques and styles of a particular programme.
RADIO TALK: It is the most commonly used format of radio broadcasting where information is delivered in a simple manner. Educational radio talks in a way serve as a substitute of classroom lecture. However according to broadcast theory a radio talk is neither a lecture nor any sort of oratory. It is conversational type of communication on one-to-one basis. It is a talk.
RADIO INTERVIEW: It is closer to two-say communication. There are two sides of an interview i.e. the interviewee and the interviewer. In educational context the interviewee represents the teacher while the interviewer represent the pupils.
PANEL DISCUSSION: Exchange of ideas through conversation is an ancient practice in teaching and learning situations. Panel discussion is a radio programme format in which four to five people talk on some given topic. An impartial chairperson guides and directs the discussion.
RADIO DRAMA: Because of the sound medium radio drama is said to be “theatre of mind”, scenery is conceived in the imagination of listeners. In this way the audience become involved in the programme. It communicates to the listeners in two ways, through information and through empathy.
MAGAZINE PROGRAMME: Magazine programme is a format in which a number of short items on some related topic are linked together through narration or other devices like music or pauses. The variety of items of magazine programme, presented in a lighter mood make the programme entertaining and interesting. However in this format there is no time to go into the depths of details of the subject. Its purpose it to give information in entertainment oriented style. Items comprise short talks, interviews, music, letters, quiz, news and views and announcements.
RADIO FEATURE: It is a typical radio broadcast format. It is taken as a serious and sober informative programme. Feature usually restricts itself to one theme. The educational message is given through a variety of voices, in the form of pep talk, interviews and narration.