Young DJs take to the air waves

Polly Hui

The newly commissioned radio studio in St Mary's Church College is always crowded with students preparing scripts to be read and CDs to be played. Three times a week, a school broadcast provides news and entertainment for students and teachers having lunch on campus.

The Trilingual School Campus Radio Programme, officially opened this week, has received $195,000 from the Quality Education Fund. It was started last year as an English programme by former radio journalist Michael Ng Ming, now a teacher at St Mary's. With the installation of a studio on campus, the programme now includes Cantonese and Putonghua services.

Each service features news, talk shows and requests in English, Cantonese and Putonghua. About 50 students have been rostered to work in groups of six as DJs and operators.

'We make sure there are junior and senior students in each group because the activity is all about peer group learning,' said Mr Ng.

Students selected from a recruitment campaign received training in news collecting, editing and script writing.

Native English teacher Nicolette Mark said the programme was particularly effective in encouraging students in a low band school to speak in different languages.

'They can experience the fun of listening and speaking. It's also important to provide a real situation for them to speak the language and move them away from textbooks,' she said.

The project has changed the learning attitude of many students. According to Ken Chau Kan-choi, who is in charge of the Cantonese programme, one Secondary Six student that teachers thought to be autistic became 'very outspoken after taking the position of radio host'.