” School of Air ” | Sanhita Guin

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Education always had hindrances from all spheres of existence. Now, right to education must seem intuitively fundamental, was not so till very recent times. Especially when the context of delivering education is considered, mankind had to war not only sociological stereotypes, but also semantic difficulties and geographic atrocities.

Far flung areas are again considerably at loss as it is very tough to gather a teaching force and educational paraphernalia to cater to a very small number of children. And thus people in the rural areas or areas where the topology is unfavourable have always been at the brunt of this problem.

So what do we do? This was the exact thought that rendered Miss Adelaide Miethke very perturbed. Back in 1944, this lady, a member of the council of the Flying Doctor Service in South Australia, came up with an incredible idea… why not teach children… over air?!  And that day, this simple idea revolutionised the face of Teaching History. Miss Miethke and a Mister L Dodd set up in motion to realise the idea in reality.

After much wait for the communication equipments and after much arduous endeavour the first trial program began in 1950. In the following year on 8th June the first School of Air (SOA) was opened, and now the rest is golden history.

Nowadays, this school no longer uses old pedal powered radios of ancient times, but has High Frequency radio transceivers to receive their lessons. This means that children can talk to each other and as well as the teacher during lessons. SOA teachers also try to visit as many students as possible at least once a year. In fact, many schools of the air also try to organise an annual sports carnival and activity so students and their families can get together and participate in activities. A SOA covers all the same curriculum as any other school in the state, so SOA students are not disadvantaged. In fact, teachers try to tailor each package to the individual needs of the student so gifted students or those with learning difficulties are specially catered for and given individual learning programs.