School of the Air

In April this year when schools closed, many students in remote Nepal had no access to learning. This was because many families in the Solukhumbu live in houses with no internet. Sometimes they don’t have electricity, either. And students walk hours a day to get to school at all. As a result, as the crisis of COVID-19 grew around the world, Nepal was facing a crisis for students in the Himalaya.

AHF and our partner organisation, REED Nepal, came up with a local solution: radio! To make this work, REED teamed up with local radio station Himal FM. Teachers prepared lessons to broadcast to 23,000 households in the region. They taught English, Nepali, Social Studies, Maths and Science.

Kids learning from workbooks in Solukhumbu

School in session…

Students began learning everyday at 10am, with around 4 hours of study per day. This included prepared lessons and special broadcasts.
The broadcasts aimed to spread awareness about safe hygiene practices during COVID. And teachers asked parents to consider the mental health of their children. This is important as we know there are many pressures on children at the moment.
Teachers found ways to give lessons through song, music and drama to help engage students. Students with mobile phones could send questions to their teachers. Some families had no way to hear the lessons, so we distributed radios to allow everyone to connect. Teachers called or visited homes (where possible) to make sure that all students were learning.
Keshav with Himal FM staff rehearsing Corona Awareness jingle

Your support made it possible

The majority of Nepalese schools returned to face-to-face teaching in late September. Due to Nepal’s School of the Air, children in the remote Solokhumbu did not miss out on quality education, even during the height of the pandemic.

Through our donors’ generous support for School of the Air, REED Nepal was able to:

  • Broadcast radio lessons and support messages to Solukhumbu (23,000 households)
  • Create home radio lessons reaching approx 1.2m students in 25 Districts
  • Give 120 radios to remote communities for home learning

Right now, schools are in session in Nepal. But COVID cases continue to rise. Donate now to support the continued work of REED Nepal in delivering quality education to students in remote regions, through the pandemic and beyond.

Words by Laura de Feyter

Nepal's School of the Air