Training teachers in remote areas of Africa with digital technology is a daunting task. There is usually no Internet access for online learning and it is quiet expensive to make available the resources needed to effectively train teachers. This is why in many developing countries, broadcast medium such as radio and TV are often used to train teachers and reach pupils.

Radio is the most widely used medium for disseminating information in rural places. It is cheap to own a radio set and there is little technical skill required to operate one. You simply put in batteries or plug into a power source; tune and you are ready to listen. The relative ease makes it suitable for use for teacher development in rural places.

In a classroom, a radio can be turned on and lessons can be broadcast from a local radio station and teachers can listen in to receive guidance on how to teach the lessons, connect with their pupils and ensure the class is interactive.

One radio program like this is the Sous le Fromager in Guinea. Sous le Fromager was initially developed to broadcast French and Math lessons to pupils. But the radio show got so popular and evolved into a educational resource tool for teachers too; helping teachers in rural schools learn and improve their proficiency.

TV can also be used to instruct teachers. It is more engaging than radio because it is audiovisual. Teachers in rural schools can learn by observing how other teachers teach and by watching instructional videos. TV programs can also show real teacher-pupil interactions from classrooms across the state, so rural teachers who watch can replicate this in their own classrooms.

Therefore, while TV is often used to demonstrate lessons to teachers on proficiency and pedagogy, radio is often used to guide teachers through scripted tasks. However, the limitation for TV lies in the need for stable electricity supply, which may not be available in most rural places.

Here in Nigeria, the Federal Government’s TV network, the NTA, has at least one station in each state, and the network’s reach is nationwide. Most state governments also run their own TV station that command significant audiences in the rural areas. Hence, a government program to educate rural teachers using TV could work if properly implemented.

There are also many local radio stations in each state that broadcast to rural communities; some even do so in the native languages. The government can also develop radio programs to build the capacity of teachers to effectively implement the basic education curriculum.

Today, non-profit organisations in Nigeria already use TV and radio to educate people in remote places about social and health issues such as HIV and elections, but the possibility of developing programs for teacher training through TV or radio has not really been explored.

However, at the Orderly Society Trust (OST), we have realised the huge potential of using broadcast media to scale up training projects for teachers, especially in rural community.

Our goal at the OST is to expand access to high quality early childhood education, especially to the most disadvantaged of us, children from slum and rural communities by training teachers using technology tools and resources readily accessible to them. We are working with educationists and social innovators to develop resources that will revolutionise early childhood education and training of teachers across the country.

We believe high quality early education can lead to academic success and a considerate improvement in the expected quality of life. We are determined to deploy quality educational resources as can be obtained in the wealthier countries at the lowest cost possible. Our target is to reach one million children and 10,000 teachers every year for the next four years.