The Schools: Partners for the Future (PASCH) network in Namibia recently completed the Laboradio project that introduces German foreign language learners to the radio medium, using the German language.
A selection of learners were, through a nine-day workshop, taught how to make a radio programme in podcast format. This project was supported by two local radio stations: HitRadio Namibia and Funkhaus Namibia.
Growth in the popularity of the radio report format since the pandemic and radio, which is still being seen as an important medium in Namibia and worldwide, motivated 80 learners from different parts of the country to apply for participation in this workshop.
The 13 winners experienced the process of making radio programmes – from conceptualising and interviewing to scripting and audio editing. The learners were equipped with a set of skills that the PASCH network in Namibia hopes will inspire them to pursue a career in radio or journalism.
“German is spoken and present in Namibia, and with two radio stations broadcasting in the language, we know there is potential for career development after high school,” said Corinna Burth, head of education cooperation of the Goethe-Institut Namibia.
“But of even more importance was our aim to engage learners as creators of the future in discussion for them to explore current topics of social and economic interest, and explore and learn from the current media industry.
“The learners surprised us with their outstanding enthusiasm, interest, teamwork and competencies,” she said.
The learners were split into groups and focused on a topic they were willing to explore. They were taught how to structure and conduct an interview, and how to verify sources before setting out to interview partners at relevant institutions and also the streets of Windhoek.
The final production was presented on the last day and broadcasted throughout the following weeks on Hitradio Namibia.
Hitradio Namibia editor-in-chief Jasko Rust, one of the facilitators, said the participants were eager to learn because they could make themselves heard.
“Unfortunately it is a norm in Namibia for the media to talk about the youth and not with them. This workshop was structured for the learners to explore problems that many others face in Namibia,” he said.
Rust thanked learners for making the facilitation of this workshop a fun and insightful experience.
“We were astonished by the final products after little training,” he said.
Rust stated that the six reports on topics like the national schools’ Advanced Subsidiary (AS) Level, father figures, environment, mental health and sex education as well as influence of social media had professional quality.