The contribution of radio to promoting girl child education in Uganda: A case study of Voice of Muhabura, Kisoro District
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The study investigated the contribution of radio to the promotion of girl child education. Based on 88.9 Voice of Muhabura (VOM) FM in Kisoro District, the study investigated how radio sensitises its audience about the value of girl child education and how it contributes to eliminating hindrances to this education. It also identified the challenges that limit radio’s contribution to promoting girl child education. The study was guided by the combined rationale of the development media theory, direct effects media theory and agenda setting theory. It adopted a case study research design and collected both qualitative and quantitative data. Qualitative data was collected from VOM FM’s manager and employees using interviews and focus group discussions, respectively. Quantitative data was collected from the radio’s listeners using a survey questionnaire. Data was analysed using qualitative content and descriptive methods, with the descriptive method aided by the SPSS (Version 22) and Excel program. Results indicate that VOM FM contributed to sensitising listeners about the value of girl child education and to eliminating hindrances to girls’ access, retention in and transition through school education until they complete as desired. The programmes by which VOM made this contribution included Eseza Memorial, Amago Yacu, Kids Show, Ikimeza, Action for Women Rights, Action for Development and District Hour. However, only Amago Yacu and Ikimeza were popular among listeners. VOM FM used on-air educative talk shows between hosts and invited guests, and direct interactions between hosts and listeners to enlighten the target audience about the value of girl child education and ways of dealing with hindrances to this education. However, listeners assessed the radio’s contribution in this matter as moderate, which suggested that it needed to be improved. The contribution was moderate partly because of the financial, technical, programming and other internal challenges the radio faced plus the external challenges, including power outages, lack of electricity and extreme poverty within its audience. From these findings, the study recommended to the radio’s management to attract more advertisers and programme sponsors as a means of raising the resources required to deal with the financial and technical challenges. The radio’s management was also urged to design its programming to suit the promotion of girl child education to a level that satisfies its listeners. Further research was recommended into how radios can design competitive programming.