Today broadcasting is a medium for the spread of education. It brings the world nearer to our heart and home. Indeed, with the invention of the radio the world has become altogether a smaller place than it used to be a global village. For we are in constant communication with all parts of it. While listening perhaps to cricket commentary relayed from Sidney or Barbados (Sabina Park) we hear not only the commentator but catch the very atmosphere of the place.
But it is in the field of education that broadcasting holds out the biggest possibilities. It is one thing to read Shakespeare’s drama and quite another thing to hear his play recited or enacted by great actors from London. “With these resources” (of broadcasting), says Dr. Darlington, “teaching can be made a mode of drama.” The student comes into a sort of personal touch with the best teachers; privileges hitherto reserved only for the few, can be brought to all without hardly any cost.
In our country, the fullest use of the radio as an instrument of mass education has not yet been exploited. Still now, Akasbani (AIR) is largely the source of entertainment. Schools should have a special radio hour, when students may hear special programmes (For the students only) relayed on special wavelengths for their particular benefit. In the sphere of adult education, the radio can be utilized with considerable advantage.
Every village should have a central place where men and women can meet at the end of the day’s work and receive enlightenment through the radio installed there. One can easily estimate what great services the radio may render in fighting ignorance and superstition. Not only for adults, but for children of all ages, there are now ‘Sishu Mahal’ and ‘Chotoder Ashar’ features of Akasbani. It would stimulate and enrich the mind of these young hopefuls with useful information.
Thus, rightly used, broadcasting is likely to be the greatest educational force in the world of the future. Of course, the human touch, in receiving instruction from a teacher, can never be available to a radio-listener.
A radio ‘class’ must, by its very nature, be something mechanical. The student is a mere listener, a passive recipient – he is not an active participant though telephone enquiries to Radio simultaneously are now allowed. If the development of personality be a part of education, it can never be achieved by the radio. It has been found that the Govt. or the party in power often seeks to reduce Radio to its propaganda agent. As a remedy, the Prasar Bharati Bill would be adopted and the radio (AIR.) and Doordarshan are expected to be fully autonomous bodies. Revenue from advertisements will be their main source of income.
But in a genuine democracy, in a people’s government, there is no fear of this abuse of the Radio in the hands of such a government. Broadcasting will be a powerful factor in the spread of education among millions then.
It is essential; therefore, that broadcasting should be in the hands of informed, intelligent and imaginative persons. Much depends on the drawing up of programmers. The best minds should sit over the matter and outline policies to make broadcasting truly effective.