The Voice of Teachers (VOT) radio show is a Teachers Without Borders (TWB) radio-based education initiative designed to empower, connect, and celebrate outstanding teachers and community members so that they can play a more vital role in their communities. The programme, which started broadcasting in February 2009, offers educational news, resources, and professional development to teachers and communities and obtains feedback from listeners through phone-ins and SMS (text) messages.
Voice of Teachers (VOT) is a weekly 45 minute radio show broadcast live every Monday on Kapital FM 92.9, Abuja, Nigeria which has a listenership of over 1.6 million people every week. The show seeks to be a tool for discussing contemporary issues affecting teachers and education, as well as a tool for building sustainable partnerships for Teachers Without Borders in Nigeria. According to Teachers without Borders (TWB), the VOT has been instrumental in showcasing the inspiring works of local educators and community leaders who have been mandated to localise the global Millennium Development Goals in their communities. Through the VOT, TWB in Nigeria is also providing its teachers with a professional development training programme on air as well as online and onsite.
The show features a number of professionals and educators from around the world as guest speakers. In the past it has featured the national president of the Science Teachers Association of Nigeria, university scholars, educational policy makers (including the Registrar/Chief Executive, Joint Admission and Matriculation Boards, Director of Professional Operations, Teachers Registration council of Nigeria), and leading Millennium Development ambassadors.
During each episode of the show, the anchor person provides background information on TWB and a guest specialist is introduced to discuss a particular educational subject. There is an interlude of music, which is usually followed by a phone-in session where listeners can provide feedback and ask questions on issues discussed. Programmes also include announcements from the TWB secretariat, relevant news items, and reports on previous and upcoming programmes. Listeners who may not be able to phone in during the live show are provided with telephone numbers to which they can send questions and suggestions through SMS. Contact information is also provided for listeners who want to send in further feedback and inquiries.
TWB members in Nigeria are working to create VOT Listeners' Clubs in all the six area councils of the Federal Capital Territory as well as in Nasarawa, Kogi, Niger, Plateau, and Kaduna States. The Listeners' clubs will meet every week after each episode to discuss the content, make their observations, and send a formal report to the programme producer.
According to TWB, due to the success of the Voice of Teachers Radio Show and its provision of the Certificate of Teaching Mastery programme to teacher listeners, TWB Nigeria is looking to establish a Voice of Teachers Studio where local teachers can record their lessons (both audio/visual) and create audio/visual CDs that would be available to both teachers and students.
Since its start in February 2009, VOT has been aired every week in 2009 and marked its first year anniversary in February 2010.
Click here to access some of the radio shows online.
According to the management of the Radio Nigeria Kapital FM 92.9, the Voice of Teachers radio show is one of the most interesting and highly listened to programmes on their station. It has also served as a major tool for membership of TWB in Nigeria, as teachers not only sign up after listening to the programme, but their concerns are brought to public notice and addressed on the show.
Based on the growing interest in the Voice of Teachers Radio Show, the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria - the federal government agency responsible for licensing teachers in Nigeria - wrote to endorse the VOT as a partner and provided 90% of the funds required to sustain the show for a further 13 weeks. Based on caller encouragement and the growing popularity of use by local teachers, VOT is looking into expanding the radio show to the nationwide network radio and national television. By December 2010, the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria had approved the VOT show on the nationwide radio network which has radio stations in all 36 states of Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory. The new approval will be implemented by February 2011, when the VOT shall be marking its second anniversary, and will be broadcast nationwide, reaching over 70 million listeners every week.
The VOT radio show has been endorsed and financially supported by the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria, the Raw Materials Research and Development Council, and TWB Millennium Development Ambassadors.
Kapital FM 92.9, Abuja, Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria, Raw Materials Research and Development Council, Faculty Board of the Initiatives, and Millennium Development Ambassadors.
Email from Raphael Ogar Oko to Soul Beat Africa on January 12 2010.