Dr Emmanuel Ngwira

Chanco Radio offers literature lessons

Despite the largely negative effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is an undeniable fact that it has also given birth to some innovative endeavours among institutions and individuals. Chancellor College is no exception, with the college making several strides to continue offering its services amidst the pandemic. ­These include services to the general community.

In the latter regard, the selfless effort of individuals should perhaps be lauded to a greater degree. One of such is the move by Dr Emmanuel Ngwira, a senior lecturer in the English Department at Chancellor College. Driven by the need to contribute during the stressful COVID-19 times, he thought of using Chanco Radio to offer English literature lessons to secondary school students both in lower and upper levels. “Being someone in the education field, I thought of doing something I could easily relate to,” he pointed out.

Chanco Radio was chosen due to a number of reasons. First, Ngwira has easy access to the station since it is already a part of Chancellor College. Secondly, he realised that the lessons would be one way of helping the station to broadcast material about the activities of the college. “And finally, since I was targeting mainly underprivileged students, I thought radio as a mass media tool would be ideal”, he said.

Th­e content of the lessons follows the secondary school syllabi. Apart from general discussions of literary genres, literary terms, and literary devices, he also discusses John Steinbeck’s Th­e Pearl and William Shakespeare’s Macbeth. MSCE lessons air on Tuesdays from 9.30am to 10.00am, whereas JCE lessons are broadcast on Fridays from 9.00am to 9.30am. 

Th­e feedback on the programme has been very encouraging, with many teachers in Zomba offering to help on a voluntary basis. As a result, there are now some lessons in Chemistry and Physics. Th­e Zomba District Education Office has also requested the possibility of running similar programs for Standard 8 pupils. In the near future, the plan is start beaming the programme on Chanco TV, and to introduce other subjects, such as English Grammar and Mathematics. “We also plan to archive these lessons on the Chanco Website so that pupils can listen at their own time if they so wish. Ultimately, we would also want to have interactive tests online so that after listening or watching a lesson, students should test what they have learnt by taking an online quiz”, Ngwira says.