CREATING communities of learners from a distance is realized at its best through a radio program of Benguet State University. Dubbed as BSU School-on-Air, the program has been providing educational empowerment to various stakeholders.

From agriculture to wider array of topics

Seeing the potentials of radio as channel of bringing education even to the remotest areas, a radio program was thought by the Benguet State University in January 14, 1997. This is to extend update on agricultural related information, education, health and other topic that will affect or improve the life of the people. It also aims to bring the University closer to the clientele by updating them on the different programs and services available aside from the dissemination of technologies and information on different fields.

Capacitating people is BSU commitment

Aired during weekdays from 5:45 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. on one of the biggest radio stations in Baguio City and the Province of Benguet, the program is seen as an opportunity to educate the people not only for farmers but also for homemakers, children and even professionals.

To date, 10 School-on-Air learning programs were already conducted in the previous years. Some of these are the SoA on vegetable production, animal production, fruit production, soil fertility management, 10- Kumainments. In 2018, the SoA on Mushroom Production was conducted by the College of Agriculture- Department of Development Communication. There were 514 listeners who enrolled where 327 participants received a Certificate of Participation and 187 participants received a Certificate of Completion.

Before a SoA module is developed, a needs assessment is conducted among listeners. Learners enrolled through telephone calls and text messages. Resource speakers or subject matter experts on the preferred topics are then tapped to share their expertise. To make the program easily understandable to the learners, the Iloko language is used.

After the process of interviewing the resource speakers and writing the After each module, 5-point quiz are administered. Their scores served as the basis on the graduation where the participants will attend and receive their certificate of participation or completion.

During the culminating ceremony on the SoA on Mushroom Production in December 2018, OES Director Dr. Ruth S. Batani said that the SoA is a good venue to create a community of learners through radio because the participants interact with each other.

Moreover, Mr. Marcelo Capiato, one of the graduates said that he is thankful to the University because of the program that helps them and give them knowledge. He also reiterated that it is a big help for rural communities. (Thank you very much ti mangbubuo ditoy BSU amin da! Salasalamat kadakayo amin, agtultuloy kuma daytoy School-on-Air tapnu dakami nga ada iti sulsulinek ket adu ti maadal me isunga salasalamat unay ta kunada pay nga ‘Its better late than never at all.’)

Because of the good feedback from the past participants, another SoA was proposed by the College of Home Economics and Technology-Department of Human Nutrition dubbed as the “The Meal Planning and Food Preparation for Homemakers School-on-Air.” The activity aims to discuss the value of nutritious foods in attaining good health for the family; process of menu planning for nutritious and balanced meals; emphasize the importance and quality of raw ingredients and more. The SoA already started last February 18, 2019 where 320 listeners enrolled. The learners are coming from different municipalities of the province of Benguet, Ifugao and even adjoining municipalities of Regions 1 and 2.

With the continuing support of the listeners on the BSU-on-Air program, the University and the Office of Extension Services also continuous to improve the services they gave to the people not only in giving knowledge but also by extending services to the community.