By M.T. Yogesh Kumar
Mysore/Mysuru: As many educational institutions in city have resorted to online classes for students following lockdown for the last three months, Karnataka State Open University (KSOU) is planning to launch Web Radio in October this year and broadcast lessons for its graduate and post-graduate students. Accordingly, KSOU has started training its teaching faculty and recording would begin in the near future.
KSOU, in the month March itself, was making all necessary arrangements to launch KSOU Web Radio in the month of July, but due to Coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown, its preparations got delayed.
COVID-19 pandemic has led to a significant shift in the educational landscape for the year 2020-21. Since March 24, academic classes have come to a halt. At this juncture, students have to face exams without attending classes. Discussion about conducting online classes for primary and high school students is still underway.
Following recent relaxation of lockdown, KSOU is now planning to broadcast radio lessons for its graduate and post-graduate students from this October so that KSOU students including those studying in Science, Arts and Commerce streams could pursue their studies by listening to Web Radio.
Every day, classes will be streamed from 6 am to 8 pm and syllabus will be adapted to radio format in the form of discussions, short plays, radio talks and lectures.
Web Radio aims to broadcast lessons based on their syllabus for BA, MA, B.Com, M.Com, B.Sc and M.Sc students which would help both distance learning and regular students of the State including Mysuru, Chamarajanagar, Kodagu, Mandya and Hassan.
While in case of traditional terrestrial radio, content is broadcast in the form of airwaves, Web Radio digitises content and routes it through the internet to be made available to listeners. KSOU website URL would have link to its Web Radio and students have to click that link and listen to the content. Students will also be able to access KSOU radio lessons by downloading web radio app in their mobile phones.
In an effort to train their teaching staff to record classes in radio format, KSOU is taking the help of All India Radio (AIR) staff members. Retired AIR Directors and other senior staff members of Mysuru and Dharwad AIR are helping KSOU in this endeavour. Senior resource persons of AIR including C.U. Bellakki, Diwakar Hegde, S.S. Umesh, Subrahmanya and Srinivas Prasad are training KSOU teaching faculty to take classes so that their lectures could be broadcast in radio format and over 20 KSOU teaching staff have already been trained in the first stage of training and recording session.
KSOU Web Radio Committee is scrutinising the scripts of post-graduate and under-graduate syllabus and after assessing its quality and content, they are converting it to radio format. AIR certified voice-over artistes, teachers and other faculty members are getting an opportunity to record these lessons in proper formats. Participants are being paid an honorarium for their services and getting API scores according to UGC regulations.
The studio which had been constructed earlier for Gnanavani will now be used for these Web Radio recordings. Gnanavani studio which had been non-functional since the last two years is getting a new lease of life and will be used for recording and storing of academic contents.
This Web Radio which aims to reach students in remote parts of India through distance learning programmes is the brainchild of KSOU Vice-Chancellor Prof. S. Vidyashankar. This innovative idea was later endorsed by Registrar Prof. Lingaraj Gandhi and Dean (Academics) Dr. Thejasvi Naviloor. Convenor Dr. R. Hemalatha has now shouldered the responsibility of launching this ambitious Web Radio project together with other staff members of KSOU. This new Web Radio is also aiming to broadcast education related advertisements and if time slot is available, folk songs, devotional songs and light music will be aired as fillers.