JACLUPAN is known for the Igotan Cave’s therapeutic waters and the medicinal plants, vegetables, and other flora that abound in “Hakopan,” said to be the origin for the name of this mountain barangay in Talisay City.
These days, Jaclupan is getting known for the tapping of technology to enable its students to continue learning despite the constraints imposed by the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic on face-to-face learning.
As reported by Wenilyn B. Sabalo of SunStar Cebu on Aug. 22, the Jaclupan National High School (JNHS) has been granted its own radio frequency modulation (FM) broadcast band, “the first in Central Visayas for its radio-based instruction (RBI) modality”.
From the radio booth located at the Junior High School building, JNHS principal Eamon Alido said that modules and supplementary materials will be aired to 1,632 junior and senior high school students in the barangay, as well as students residing in 35 sitios in the neighboring Barangay Campo III and 15 sitios in Barangay Campo IV.
The JNHS administration and faculty should be commended for making RBI possible as the most appropriate instructional mode for their community.
Radio and television are the two channels of mass media that have the deepest penetration in the country, according to a 2015 study by the Philippine Statistics Authority.
In a study by Madeline M. Suva, Jaime A. Manalo IV, and the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication, television leads radio as the “more pervasive” mass medium for disseminating information and is the “best” medium for reaching school children.
However, a radio set is more affordable than a television set for many families. For a public school seeking to sustain learning during the pandemic, a school-based radio station is realizable and sustainable, as the JNHS has shown.
Stakeholdership made it possible for Jaclupan learners to have these RBI capabilities. As SunStar Cebu reported, the JNHS educators looked for private donors who shouldered the costs of setting up the on-site radio booth. Sponsorship trimmed the school’s costs down to about P70,000.
The Department of Education (DepEd) provided computers, which will also be used for printing learning modules and other school requirements. The DepEd Central Office secured the license and permit from the National Telecommunications Commission.
Making the RBI work does not end with setting up the school’s radio booth. Through the Teachers’ Program Initiative (TPI), Alido said that the JNHS is looking for sponsors to enable 689 less privileged students to acquire new or secondhand transistor radios.
The Jaclupan educators have shown empathy for their students by not just heeding the survey results showing that 85 percent of student and parent respondents preferred blended learning that combines modular distance learning with RBI over other modes.
In recording their instructions and supplementary materials for broadcasting, teachers can use Cebuano and apply other innovations to explain concepts better and help students hurdle the challenges of distance learning through radio.
DepEd should also give continuing learning and skills enhancement opportunities for teachers and administrators using radio, television, and computer for distance education.
Government and non-government organizations have used radio and television for decades to hold remote learning for farmers, fisherfolks, home-based women, and others with less options for formal education. Relevant experiences and best practices using community media should benefit learners during the pandemic.
The JNHS sees the potentials of the school’s radio booth to serve as a community medium for Jaclupan and neighboring barangays. Alido said other public schools can air public service announcements during the noontime break in between transmissions of the instructional broadcasts.
Radio technology adds to the natural therapies that make Barangay Jaclupan continue to thrive.