Radio Escolar CAJ - FM de Adentro 94.3

Country Profile: Argentina

Population

42,538,000 (2013)

Official language

Spanish

Youth literacy late (15-24 years)

Total: 99.3% (2015)
Male: 99.13%
Female: 99.48%

Adult Literacy Rate (15 years and over)

Total: 98.09% (2015)
Male: 98.04%
Female: 98.13%

Programme Overview

Programme TitleRadios Escolares Centros de Actividades Juveniles (CAJ) - FM de Adentro 94.3
Implementing OrganizationThe National Directorate for Socio-Educational Policies which – in the context of imprisonment – coordinates with the National Directorate for Education Management under the Sub-secretariat for Equity and Quality National Ministry of Education, through the Scheme Promoting Education in Contexts of Imprisonment.
FundingNational Ministry of Education of Argentina
Programme PartnersThe National Communication Commission the Federal Authority for Audio-Visual Communication Services
Annual Programme Costs11,000 pesos (approx. USD 1,000 per year) per year
Date of InceptionThe project began between 2010 and 2012 as a radio workshop. The radio station was installed in 2014

Context

The Programa Nacional de Extensión Educativa (National Programme for Educational Outreach), which is run under the auspices of the National Directorate for Socio-Educational Policies, promotes projects that, while they complement school studies, are run on an extracurricular basis outside school premises. The purpose of these projects is to expand on and intensify the education the pupils receive in schools. The programme conducts its work on two levels: one primary level called Turismo Educativo (educational tourism) and one secondary school level called Centro de Actividades Juveniles (Youth Activity Centres) or CAJs.

The Centros de Actividades Juveniles (CAJs) seek to promote changes both in pupil’s attitudes to schooling and in their approaches to learning. They do this through activities organized outside school hours and away from school premises. The CAJs offer schools the use of more open, more flexible educational spaces. These can then be used for activities that complement the various school disciplines and enable educators to deal more innovatively with curricular content. Schools collaborating with the CAJs are required to opt for up to two of the following activity topics: environmental education; scientific projects; knowledge and use of communication means and new technologies; sports and culture; artistic and creative development. The CAJs also offer courses with interdisciplinary themes focussing on improving reading and writing skills. The topics of these courses are, for example, Youth Participation and Human Rights, Preventing the Problematic Consumption of Drugs, and Sexual Education.

The Proyecto Pedagógico CAJ (CAJ Pedagogical Project) is also implemented within the Scheme Promoting Education in Contexts of Imprisonment. In this regard, it coordinates with the National Directorate for Education Management, which is responsible for this scheme. The remit here involves working with young people in penal care and implementing the CAJ model in closed institutions housing young people below the age of 18 who are either on remand awaiting trial or have been convicted. These institutions can be prisons, socio-educational centres for youths and adolescents accused of committing crimes, or centres for the treatment of addictions. The CAJ’s objective here is to expand and improve learning conditions and access to education for the young people concerned, to increase rates of regular school attendance and school completion, and to strengthen participants’ school and educational performance. It pursues this objective by encouraging the young people to participate in activities organized outside of school time and away from school premises.

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The Centre for Young People in Conflict with Penal Law Nº 1, located in Salta Capital, houses approximately 1,000 young boys aged between 14 and 17 per year. Many of these boys come from poorer, marginalized areas of the province. In most cases, they are the victims of social exclusion, born into lives where drug addiction is the norm. Their stigmatization is made worse still by media hegemony. Such circumstances cause great damage not only to the young people as individuals but also to their families, and indeed to the societies in which they live.

To alleviate this state of affairs, it is essential that communication channels giving these young boys a voice be opened. Only in this way, that is, by becoming able to exercise their rights, can they have these rights restored.

As such, school radio creates an inclusive educational space for young people within their personal, family, community and social environments, providing them with a voice again. Moreover, the school radio programme is expected to also facilitate pre-vocational training within the construction of learning. In an institutional context, school radio also serves to enhance socio-educational strategies in that it helps facilitate the young people’s reintegration into the formal school system.

All in all, the radio opens up a new world to people living in situations of exclusion. It allows them to make connections and construct meanings, promoting critical awareness both among the young people in question and in their communities. This in turn will encourage them to question the social representations that give rise to their marginalization, poverty and lack of opportunities. Inclusion always presupposes that a person has a sense of “‘I exist’ in a place ‘for me’ of which ‘I am a part’”. School radio creates a space that validates these young people, gives them a sense of identity, values their creativity, and reconstructs their freedom subjectively and objectively. School radio therefore serves as a tool of socio-educational inclusion.

The CAJ of the Núcleo Educativo Nº 7210 (Educational Nucleus Nº 7210) proposed that, as of 2010, it would offer workshops using art and new technologies to strengthen participants’ means of expression. Part of a socio-educational strategy of inclusion, these workshops were aimed at promoting the abilities and potentials of their young participants through alternative approaches connected to the curricular content of the corresponding schools. The workshops provided covered a wide range of areas, one of the first being the medium of radio.

Once the Radio Escolar CAJ had been established, work began on honing strategies and course dynamics in both quantitative and qualitative terms. The radio station was also used to develop programmes implemented by, for example, other CAJs, schools, organizations, groups of young people from these entities, and groups of young people released from prison and keen to continue with the programme activities they started during their incarceration.

Programme Overview

The principal objective of Radio Escolar CAJ is to use communication media for purposes of enhancing and expanding educational resources and methodologies, of increasing young people’s scope for expression, and of promoting greater socialization within this group.

The National Ministry of Education and the respective jurisdictions will, after the framework agreements have been signed, decide which schools will host the CAJs. The educational institutions who want to be considered will need to apply to the provincial authorities and to the Jurisdictional Team, and to then formalize their bid by sending it to the Dirección Nacional de Políticas Socioeducativas via the corresponding provincial authority.

The Radio Escolar CAJ of the Núcleo Educativo Nº 7210, established in the Centre for Young People in Conflict with Penal Law Nº 1, Barrio Castañares, Salta Capital, Provincia de Salta, is geared toward all the young people housed in said institution. But it is also available to all institutions housing people with similar backgrounds. Many of these institutions rely on the measures provided by the CAJ programme and/or the socio-educational offers provided by other institutions, foundations and NGOs. Two such institutions are Temporary Home, a closed correctional centre for adolescent girls, and the Centre for the Orientation of Pregnant Adolescents and those with Children. The Núcleo Educativo has satellite classrooms and the CAJ holds workshops at both these institutions.

There are three types of institutions that avail of the programme services: penal facilities for young people and adults, closed facilities for adolescents and young people accused of committing crimes, and closed or confined addiction treatment facilities, for children, adolescents, young people and adults. The programme includes all forms of institutions and facilities that care for people deprived of their liberty and therefore unable to attend normal school. The programme is also aimed is aimed at people who have been convicted as well as those in custody awaiting trial.

In 2014, around fifty young offenders participated directly in the production, operation and presentation of the radio station. They were split into groups of five according to their level of schooling (primary, secondary and non-schooled). Moreover, twenty students of secondary school or university level from the Universidad Nacional and Universidad Católica de Salta joined the project to collaborate with the youths in producing radio content. They did this as part of internships or community/voluntary work initiatives.

The impact of the radio broadcasts on educational institutions was very strong and far-reaching, as shown by a growing interest in diverse radio content production on the part of the youth and teachers. The positive impact on the community at large was also considerable.

Notably, Salta province received eight libraries last year from the Ministerio de Educación de la Nación, which were distributed across the province. Each library (with 400 books and technological support) has a project that corresponds with the characteristics of the place in which it is to operate. All these libraries are located in prisons or juvenile detention facilities.

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Aims and Objectives

As mentioned above, the principal objective of Radio Escolar CAJ is to exploit communication media for purposes of enhancing and expanding educational resources and methodologies, of increasing young people’s scope for expression, and of promoting greater socialization within this group. Further objectives include the following:

Programme Implementation

Methodology and content

The pupils participate in the CAJ radio workshop on a voluntary basis. The classes are led by a facilitator with expert knowledge of radio production. Using various pedagogical resources and methods, he/she conducts activities aimed at producing radio content.

The nature of this work enables those involved to try out a diverse range of media and approaches. This is why the project proposed involved creating radio programmes and bulletins in keeping with pedagogical criteria and with different aspects of the school curriculum.

The radio work is fundamentally pedagogical, strengthening both specific and cross-cutting learning processes. It is a very dynamic tool and extremely well-suited to the teaching of more diverse content. All of the radio productions cover a particular area of the school curriculum.

Among these curricular areas are language and literature, music, physical education, human rights and ethics, health, history and philosophy. Each jurisdiction decides independently how to schedule the CAJs. They must however ensure that the project comprises at least eight hours of classes per week. In our case, despite there being a few interference issues in the coverage area, the radio station transmits programmes produced by young people on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Each radio production day is structured as follows:

As part of this radio work, participants manage and produce radio programmes and adverts, using them as a didactic tools to promote learning within the diverse school curriculum. The approach aims to develop participants' potential and interests, address their concerns, strengthen their sense of inclusion in the community, and create new channels through which they can become more visible, communicate their thoughts, and strengthen their social awareness.

Recruitment and training of the facilitators

The CAJ project is supported by the integrated work of a National Team. This team comprises one jurisdictional section, which includes a coordinator, an administrative manager, and a technical team; and one institutional section which includes a coordinator and all CAJ institutions, each of which has one director, one coordinator, a facilitators team, a Management team, and lecturers.

The application process for facilitator roles requires candidates to present previous examples of their work. The director of the educational institute and the CAJ coordinator then select from the candidates, basing their decisions on candidates' profiles and on how well candidates presented their projects. Once selected, facilitators receive continual training through workshops organized at both local and national level, and are paid based on the number of hours they teach. These facilitators can be lecturers or people with specialist knowledge of the particular vocation. They are in charge of conducting workshops and activities on the respective subjects during the term of the CAJ project. To be a facilitator, people need to exhibit the following:

  1. Commitment to the social and educational inclusion of young people in their community.
  2. A strong sense of team spirit and the ability to collectively develop and implement projects and to reflect on one’s approaches.
  3. The ability to manage interpersonal relations and to generate trusting relationships with the young participants, colleagues from the institutional team, directors, families and the community.

Enrolment

The young people who participate in the radio workshops are informed about the activities planned, the days the activities are scheduled for, and the methods to be used. They are invited to participate and enrol on a voluntary basis. No prior knowledge is required. Once enrolled, participants have to wait until they receive an invitation to attend the workshops from the responsible parties at the CAJ. These invitations are sent to the penal officer in charge of the participants' care. In this way, the workshops can be filled flexibly, allowing new participants to join on a continual basis.

The CAJ workshops are extracurricular and designed to promote participants' re-inclusion into society and to strengthen their school performance; they also cater flexibly to the participants' different levels of education. The educational activities provided by CAJ supplement school curriculum content but do not themselves count toward school qualifications. After all, CAJ participants also go to regular school, where they receive their official qualifications and certificates.

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Assessment

In general, the CAJ assesses the individual abilities of each participant over the course of the workshop in question. It does this by measuring (both quantitatively and qualitatively) participants' progress toward specific goals and objectives, based on the following criteria:

Monitoring and evaluation

The process of monitoring and assessing the workshops is the responsibility of the CAJ coordinator. These results are then systematically submitted to the office of the Núcleo Educativo for institutional assessment. The monitoring and assessment process involves analysing the achievements, difficulties and strengths of each workshop.

Programme Impact and Challenges

Achievements

In 2014, the programme succeeded in strengthening participants’ reading, writing and speaking skills, as well their ability to absorb and process a diverse range of curricular content. Moreover, the radio programmes produced in the workshops were systematically broadcast according to predetermined schedules, which served to raise awareness for the programme activities. As a result, the programme gave the young offenders a stronger voice and greater visibility, while it also triggered public dialogue with regard to the recognition and value of the socio-educational processes in question.

Inter-institutional relations were key in this respect, widening the scope of the project and allowing more young people to join, thereby promoting exchange between different groups of youths. Relations with secondary schools, other CAJs, universities, and with the Directorate General of Juvenile Detention were also important, widening horizons, facilitating deeper-reaching teaching and learning processes, and incentivizing the young people in detention.

Thanks to the technical training sessions provided by the National Commission for Communications, and to the production of content by the Ministry of Education, the educators involved progressively learned how to use the radio for educational purposes. This resulted in its use in workshops, events, parliamentary participation, science fairs, etc., which in turn led to greater institutional commitment to the radio programme.

Participants' testimonies

Franco Emiliano

I’m Franco and I’m 16 years old. I think that the radio project enables us to express how we feel and think. It’s a way of communicating among ourselves and with the people outside. It encourages us to use our imagination to invent programmes while having a lot of fun with the other guys and the teachers. And we learn about a lot of things too.

[Throuhg the programme] people see that we can do more than rob and get into problems with drugs; that we are good at other things. Through our programmes, they notice that we are making an effort.

When I make radio programmes, I feel like I’m outside again because I can share things with people who are listening. I also feel like I can achieve things and like I can make a change. I really like working with the radio because it makes me feel free; I imagine I’m a radio presenter in the outside world.

Leandro Nicolás

I think the radio is different to other communication systems because it is the country’s first school radio project implemented in the context of imprisonment. The radio project helps us to free our minds and forget for a while that we are prisoners. We learn while we are working on and recording the programmes through practising and investigating, and through playing games with the teachers. The radio takes you beyond what you can imagine. And it’s not like other radio stations. Ours has a way better vibe.

When people listen to us, they probably think that we are doing something productive during our time inside. They probably laugh at our way of making programmes and our way of talking; it’s very funny.

When I make radio programmes, I feel free in my mind because it enables me to express ideas I otherwise keep to myself. We say what we think about all the topics we cover. Every time I’m on the radio, I learn something new. And that’s a good thing. I think that I could be a radio presenter in future because I like to talk and make listeners laugh.

Ramiro

I am 17 years old and I think that the radio is entertainment and a form of communication. It’s about broadcasting things to reach other people. We rid ourselves of our doubts and we learn loads.

When people listen to us, I think they think that we are different because we, the people making the programmes, are young people excluded from society.

When making the radio programmes, I feel happy. It gives us a space that we can feel free in, that lets us escape from our imprisonment. It makes me feel like I can do whatever I want.

Challenges

The radio project enables its young participants to exercise a range of juvenile rights. In the context of imprisonment, this serves to further the democratization of education, communication and culture. The challenges assumed within the Radio Escolar CAJ project form part of a more general public policy that advocates for the promotion of rights to education and communication, a policy that is aimed at bringing the State closer to activities with a profoundly restorative effect on human rights.

Over the course of the programme, Radio Escolar has proven highly successful in terms of improving its participants' educational performance, providing them not only with a type of classroom in which to acquire and strengthen knowledge and skills, but also with a means of giving value to their voices, thus promoting their inclusion in society.

The short-, medium- and long-term challenges include incorporating new social actors in the radio project, increasing broadcasting time, diversifying content, and strengthening participants' educational paths.

Lessons learned

Implementing the Radio Escolar CAJ project involved numerous technical, operational and legal difficulties. Resolving these required great effort on the part of staff, as well as on an institutional and political level. Nevertheless, the radio station was established in 2014. Since then, it has made important contributions in terms of promoting social inclusion and enabling participants to exercise their rights. Its work in this respect has been progressively recognized by educational, social and legal bodies.

Giving a voice to young people in conflict with the law is a daily undertaking. It involves adult educators adapting, redefining and reinventing pedagogical approaches so as to turn participants into protagonists, able to take charge of their own educational paths. The uninterrupted operation of the radio station allows for a better understanding of how the participants acquire knowledge and skills via new technologies, which guides them to use their abilities to exercise their rights.

The radio project also gives the floor to these young people, promotes debate in the community, and lends a new type of voice to mass communication media, which otherwise tends to treat such young people as dangerous. This new voice effectively contradicts the logic of security, counterposing it with the logic of education and social inclusion.

Sustainability

The Radio Escolar CAJ is institutionally sustainable thanks the financial support provided by the Ministerio de Educación de la Nación (National Ministry of Education). In addition, the management of specific projects via various different organizations promotes the continual improvement and expansion of the resources that enable the workshops to be conducted and the radio programmes to be broadcast.

Sources

Contact Information

Lic. Maria Isabel Giacchino de Ribet
National Coordinator
Ministerio de Educación de la Nación Argentina
Modalidad de Educación en Contextos de Encierro

Professor Héctor Vega
Pizzurno 935-3er piso -Oficina 231
Argentina
Tel.: 4-129-1547
modalidad-ece@me.gov.ar
hvega@me.gov.ar

Last update: 5 January 2017