TV EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMES AND COGNITIVE ABILITIES OF STUDENTS Mass Com…
The use of television for promoting learning or as a supplement for classroom teaching continues to attract much attention because of the major role the mass media play in the contemporary society. The instructional material which television provides is often used in the educational development of students in Nigeria (Nworgu and Nworgu, 2008). This constant use of television for instructional purpose has led to the popularization of the abbreviation, ITV (instructional television) among scholars both within and outside the country. The media have also become the recognized story tellers of the world. They have provided opportunities for governments and private organizations to push back ignorance through the promotion of learning in-formal, non-formal and informal settings. This fact was recognized by the then Western Regional Government in Nigeria when, in 1959, it started the western Nigeria television (WNTV). One of the major reasons for the establishment of the WNTV was to use television as a surrogate teacher, particularly in rural areas where government at that time lacked sufficient teaching staff to service the free education policy of the Western Regional government (Folarin, 1998). Since then, television has been used in Nigeria to supplement teaching in schools. It has contributed to the educational development of Nigerians – both children and adults (Duyile, 2007). There seems to be therefore, a relationship between education and television. Although this link is often overlooked, both still have the major goals of providing information, imparting knowledge and experiences (Iredia, 2003). The differences between them exist only by way of institutional structures, methods and emphasis but their connection seems obvious.
The broadcast media, precisely television, can be used to teach arts, drama, poetry, and music thereby improving cognitive abilities of students, and also bring inspirations of teachers, artists, and scientists into the lives of millions of students who may not have the opportunity to be members of the formal education population. It can also bring learning and knowledge to a huge number of people and thus becomes a motivation for increase in actual enrolment in many Nigerian schools. All these potentials, which abound in television as a broadcast medium, could be used to promote learning in schools. But regrettably, the potentials have not been fully utilized, the reason is not far-fetched. Many of the educational and instructional programmes in Nigerian television stations tend to have audiences that are merely passive viewers. They are passive because little contact is usually made between the staff who produce the programmes and the audiences (Okunna, 1999). One way to achieve wider participation of these audiences is to increase access to the broadcast media. This insufficient access may have been caused by lack of media infrastructure and cost of buying radio or television sets, (Sobowale, 1989). But the trend seems to have changed significantly in recent years, although the number of Nigerians who own television sets and the type of programmes they prefer is even still uncertain.
With the emergence and alliance of different television stations and service providers presenting diverse television programmes, it cannot be overstated that the television has taken a center stage in our everyday activities. Television has seemingly become a very vital part of the society. Most of the educational programmes students watch on the television are entertainment related.
Television educational programmes provides direct teaching to students of Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic especially in subject areas they find challenging or where there are inadequate numbers of lecturers. Akwa Ibom State Broadcasting Cooperation- Television (AKBC-TV) and Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Channel, are the major Television stations used to supplement classroom teaching in the state.