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Pioneer School for the Visually Impaired launches radio station

Sheldon Adams on his debut as sports reporter. The Pioneer School for the Visually Impaired in Worcester has a radio station that broadcasts live from the school every Wednesday from 7pm until 8pm. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)

Sheldon Adams on his debut as sports reporter. The Pioneer School for the Visually Impaired in Worcester has a radio station that broadcasts live from the school every Wednesday from 7pm until 8pm. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jun 10, 2022

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The Pioneer School for the Visually Impaired in Worcester has launched its online radio station.

Principal Michael Bredenkamp said the purpose of this new addition to the school was to educate and empower blind and visually impaired learners to become broadcasters and, in turn, create employment.

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The school’s music teacher, Quinten Pendle, the driving force behind the radio project at the school, saw the gap in employment opportunities for visually impaired persons.

The school, which had been using Pendle’s spare equipment, including a computer, mixing desk and microphones, to stay on air, received a donation in February from Dankie Lottoland, which means they can now buy all the necessary studio equipment and software.

In the studio at the Pioneer School for the Visually Impaired's online radio station. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)

Learners from Grades 9 to 12 are encouraged to join the school’s Radio Academy.

So far, nine learners have joined the academy. Pendle said the broadcasters were keen interviewers, and not only were they bringing the most amazing stories to the airwaves, they also have great ideas, some of which have already been implemented.

Video: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

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Western Cape Education Department’s (WCED) director of communication, Bronagh Hammond, said during the broadcast, pupils share stories, and news, do interviews and report on all activities in and around the school.

She added that learners were trained in proper microphone etiquette, operating the various aspects of a studio, producing, sound engineering, compiling and presenting specialised programmes, scriptwriting and compilation of radio ads.

The station broadcasts live from the school every Wednesday from 7pm until 8pm.

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