First day of school in Misamis Oriental town sends students listening to radio
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—Students in El Salvador City, Misamis Oriental, started their first day in school on Monday (Oct. 5) listening to the radio instead of going to classrooms.
El Salvador Mayor Edgar Lignes said he offered the city government-owned Savior Radio 106.9 FM for use as a learning platform to keep teachers and students safe from COVID-19.
By listening to radio for their lessons, students need not physically report to class, the mayor said.
“They came to me to ask for assistance. I told them we have a radio station that we can use,” Lignes said. Teachers had told him that the cost for an hour of air time in Cagayan de Oro’s commercial radio stations ranged from P11,000 to P30,000.
Instead of spending on air time and printing of modules, teachers can teach through distance learning for free.
He said the city-owned radio station inside the city hall complex would be open for use of all of the city’s public schools and El Salvador’s community college.
Lignes said he had also asked the telecommunications office to grant the city government a temporary permit to operate the radio legally since it was a necessary teaching and learning aid for students in the midst of the pandemic.
“Savior Radio’s programming will be dedicated to the teachers. They can make full use of it,” said the mayor.
The radio station was supposed to be part of the city’s disaster response program but it failed to go on air in 2019 because of delayed permits, Lignes said.
“We thought the application for a permit for a radio station was simple,” the mayor said. “We decided to close it until we could comply with all the requirements. But now we realize we really have to use it,” he said.
Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, in his visit to El Salvador last month, promised to upgrade the city’s community radio station as part of his office’s Radio Rehabilitation Program.
Andanar said the Radio Rehabilitation Program allowed the national government to provide new equipment and “other things” to improve El Salvador’s community radio station.
Savior Radio currently has a broadcast capacity of 50 watts and amplified through a repeater system so it could reach El Salvador’s 15 villages and even neighboring towns in Misamis Oriental.