Education over the Airways - New Directions for Interactive Radio Instruction in Haiti: dot-EDU
[Issue II: Fall 02]
Continuing the progress of previous USAID programs, dot-EDU is working closely with the Haitian Foundation for Private Education (FONHEP) to strengthen and expand Interactive Radio Instruction (IRI) in Haiti. The intervention, which has proven successful in basic primary education, will be examined to see how it can be used to address other audiences and subject matters fit for radio.
Expanding IRI in Haiti
The Haiti Distance Education Inside and Beyond the Classroom Project follows two USAID distance education initiatives in Haiti, designed to improve educational quality in a country where many teachers lack training and support. IRI allows teachers and students to follow solid programs via radio that use games, songs, dramas, and activities to assist teachers in the instruction of educational objectives from the curriculum.
The official language of instruction in Haiti is Creole and the lessons provide solid instruction in a language that many Haitian teachers have not mastered in its written form but are nonetheless expected to use as the language of instruction.
Additional IRI Subjects
Potential additional subject matters for IRI include democracy building, health education, and environmental education. Additional audiences include adults, domestic servants, and underserved populations.
Satellite Broadcasting System
The other area of focus will be the establishment of a satellite broadcasting system that would work in conjunction with community radio stations on the ground to improve communication potential in Haiti. dot-EDU will build on the solid work achieved thus far through the previous USAID initiatives and its local partners.
IRI in Haiti: Background
Since the mid-1990's, USAID has supported distance education initiatives in Haiti designed to improve educational quality in a country where many teachers lack training and support. Under two previous USAID-funded initiatives (the LearnTech Project and Education 2004), Haiti has demonstrated its ability to produce high-quality interactive radio instruction programs in both math and reading.
Both the LearnTech Project and Education 2004 provided a means for training local Haitian educators, primarily working with the Haitian Foundation for Private Education (FONHEP), in the complicated art of scriptwriting for interactive radio. Over the years, the local capacity has developed to the extent that these Haitian educators are now being asked to provide their expertise to other USAID projects initiating an IRI intervention. The responsibility of providing the IRI programs is now in the hands of FONHEP. dot-EDU continues USAID's assistance in distance education in Haiti by providing support to FONHEP in its management of IRI programming for grades 2, 3, and 4.
EDC was awarded the Haiti Distance Education Inside and Beyond the Classroom Project on September 1, 2002 and will continue until September 15, 2004 (Award No. 521-A-00-02-00069-00 under the dot-EDU Leader Award No: GDG-A-00-01-00011-00).
For more information, please contact:
Steve Anzalone, Project Director, EDC
Katharine Yasin, IRI Specialist, EDC