Tuesday, March 28, 2006

US, RP Launch Mindanao Radio Program

ZAMBOANGA CITY (Zamboanga Journal / 28 Mar) The United States and the Philippines have launched a radio program in Mindanao that will benefit millions of people across the southern region.
Thanks to development assistance from the American people, Mindanao residents now will have the chance to learn English at home with their own weekly tutor: the radio.
Through a program funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the state-owned Radyo ng Bayan network launched Saturday the Real World English, a weekly English-language instructional radio show, on its dxMR station here.
Radyo ng Bayan, a subsidiary of the Philippine Broadcasting Service (PBS), will broadcast at least 52 episodes of Real World English every Saturday from 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. from its stations across Mindanao, reaching the provinces as far as Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi.
The 30-minute show will provide English-language high school teachers useful information to improve English instruction in the classroom, and expose the listening public to native English speakers.
The USAID’s Education Quality and Access for Learning and Livelihood Skills (EQuALLS) project introduced the Real World English program through its Improving English Language Teaching and Learning in Mindanao (IELTLM) project.
EQuALLS is a five-year initiative funded by Washington to promote improvements in elementary and secondary education in the five-province (Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Maguindanao and Lanao) Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and other conflict-affected areas in the south.
“Through Real World English, we hope to contribute to the Department of Education’s effort to improve the English language proficiency of our teachers and learners."
"This is also an opportunity for all of us in Zamboanga City, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Marawi City, and other areas reached by this broadcast to discuss our own Mindanaoan culture even as we speak about the American way of life,” said Danilo Macasantos, the local dxMR Radyo ng Bayan station manager, in his opening remarks during last week's the inaugural broadcast.

Rafael Dante Cruz, PBS director, highlighted the power of radio to deliver “practical knowledge and useful information” to the Filipinos.
Dr Thomas Kral, USAID Chief, Office of Education, recalled his time as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines and spoke of traveling throughout the Sulu Archipelago more than 35 years ago, forming friendships with local residents through English language.
Kral also stressed the added importance of English language skills in today’s era of globalization.

IELTLM is a multi-stakeholder education initiative of Real World Productions, Radyo ng Bayan, Ateneo de Zamboanga University, Notre Dame University -– Cotabato City, and the Mindanao State University -– Tawi-Tawi College of Technology and Oceanography. USAID provides technical and financial assistance to IELTM through the EQuALLS Project.

For more information, contact:
Kevin Donahue
Development & Outreach Communications Specialist
U.S. Agency for International Development
Tel: (63-2) 552-9905
Web: www.usaid-ph.gov

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