Radio has been found to be an effective medium, which can
cover large population packets within low cost and in short span of time. Its
use in educational settings have been reported by many researchers. It can
act as a community telephone, fostering information exchange at community level,
and as an effective catalyst towards formal and non-formal education. Owing
to the usefulness of radio in education, entertainment and other sectors of
life, it has shown good signs of growth in developing countries as well, if
compared to access to telecom or internet. In
Off late, the FM radio has been gaining momentum in the developing
countries. Many developed countries such as the
The movement is now catching up in developing countries especially
High illiteracy rates and low levels of schooling among disadvantaged groups, especially women, in many developing countries continues to limit their ability to lift themselves out of poverty. The existing conventional educational system has shown itself to be unable to respond to the massive demand for increased education. This is especially true in many poverty-stricken countries with respect to meeting the substantial education needs of the rural poor. Consequently, disadvantaged groups continue to be denied access to information, knowledge, skills and technology transfer.
In order to empower disadvantaged groups as equal partners in development, the limitations of formal and non-formal education are now being challenged. New ways to achieve mass awareness and mass education, that can be both efficient and effective, need to be explored. The solution may lie in the use of distance education techniques and delivery systems such as radio and television based at the community level to address directly local issues and needs. In this context, radio, an effective telecommunications medium, was proposed at Jomtien in 1990, as the solution most likely to address this great need.
Radio can cut across geographic, cultural and literacy barriers. Given its availability, accessibility, cost-effectiveness and power, radio represents a practical and creative medium for facilitating mass education in peri-urban/rural settings. However, even a decade since Jomtien, radio still continues to be an under-utilized technology in education. This is especially surprising, because from a learner's point of view, radio is user friendly, accessible and a well-established medium. From an educational provider's point of view it is easy to set up, produce and broadcast programs. After almost one hundred years of broadcasting history, most nations possess more than a respectable level of engineering skills and broadcasting talent needed to apply the technology in education.
Radio is a very powerful technology that can allow information to reach large sectors of the population quickly and economically. Yet, due to national broadcast regulations in many countries, this potential could not be realized fully in the past. And community radio stations did not develop as they should have. In addition, the cost of transmitters, infrastructures, and equipment, placed most potential community broadcasters at a disadvantage, especially those in the remote rural areas. The result was a distinct information gap to the rural corners of some countries due to lack of service by national broadcasters who in some cases have weak or non-existent signal coverage.
In the Philippines,
But still in developing countries, radio is still stuck at the delivery problem: how does audio content outside of government control reach the people it is designed for?
The private FM channels have given radio
a new lease of life and expanded the listenerís base. Even after this success,
the FM Channels are suffering losses (a private FM radio station of India Win
94.6 closed its
operations, blaming the Govt in not taking a suitable decision on the issue
of license fee). For example, in
The issues related to access to radio by the station target audience and ensuring the steady flow of content or regular broadcast schedule are equally important. The radio stations must be targeted to local users, as per their language and situation.
It may also be discussed as how to promote resource generation.
The issue of advertising is important here. The radio has only 2.1 per cent
share of total advertising pie in
One more issue which need to be discussed is rebroadcasting of national or international programmes by the local broadcasters. Obtaining permission, selecting relevant programme and keeping in mind the language and place etc need to be considered.