COVID-19 educational disruption and response: Continuation of radio education for secondary level students in Nepal

The global COVID-19 pandemic has led to the closure of educational institutions worldwide, affecting over 90% of students. In Nepal as well, this pandemic has led to the closure of all educational institutions for an indefinite period.
To ensure access to quality education for all, UNESCO and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology are collaborating with ACORAB Nepal to continue a radio education programme for secondary level students.
With the objective of leaving no one behind, this programme aims to reach out to students in rural areas throughout Nepal who do not have access to the internet and television. The programme, using materials developed by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and the Centre for Education and Human Resource Development, is being aired through seventy community radio stations. 
 “The global COVID-19 pandemic has hampered students’ learning. To minimize the impact on the continuity of learning for students, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology has launched the campaign to adopt distance learning mode through radio lessons in FM radio stations,” stated Giriraj Mani Pokharel, Honorable Minister of Education, Science and Technology during the launching of the programme.
 “In Nepal, the impact is deeply felt by children and students, especially in rural and remote areas without access to online learning.  This could widen the gap between advantaged and disadvantaged children,” said Christian Manhart, UNESCO Representative to Nepal. He stressed, “We cannot let this happen. I hope the children will benefit from this program, especially students in remote areas.”
UNESCO will be collecting feedback from both students and parents in order to make the programme more effective and find out how much the students are benefitting from it. UNESCO is hopeful that these radio programmes will have a positive impact on the learning outcomes of students across the country.