Resources - Get Mad/Glad

The New Age highlights children’s issue & promotes their views

15 July 2016

Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) awards a GLAD to The New Age for focusing on an issue affecting children and further accessing a child for his views.

Scholar transport needed as some pupils travel long distancesThe New Age (14/06/2016, p.9) discusses the long distances children in Kimberley have to endure every day to attend school. The article by Smanga Kumalo talks about how children from White City and Two Thousand sections of Galeshwe township walk about 15 kilometers every day to attend classes. A photograph showing children walking on what appears to be a long dirt road accompanies the story.

To further illustrate this issue, the journalist speaks to Kamogelo Kgalaki, one of the pupils affected by the lack of scholar transportation. Kamogelo says he feels sleepy when he gets to class and sometimes loses concentration. “I believe walking long distances contributes to my situation … I sometimes get discouraged to go to school but I hope one day things will be better,” he is quoted as saying.

The journalist further highlights the dire situation Kamogelo and his peers find themselves in describing how he and his schoolmates put their lives in danger on a daily basis as they are forced to cross a forest and sometimes hitchhike to avoid the long walk.

In the midst of what seems like a desperate situation, the journalist consistently refers to Kamagelo’s eagerness and perseverance quoting him on his ambitions to be a doctor one day and illustrating his love for studying. The pupil at Kevin Nkoane Primary School says he would be happy if transport could be provided for them.

MMA advocates for accessing children where possible particularly in matters that affect them. The New Age has shown that when this is done, it not only promotes their right to freedom of expression but allows them an opportunity to participate in issues highlighted in the media thereby enriching the story with their unique perspective.

We emphasise that challenges that children face should be reported on regularly in the media to receive the necessary attention from policymakers. Therefore, we commend The New Age for bringing this issue to the relevant stakeholders’ attention.  We also congratulate the newspaper on a job well done in promoting children’s views. 

We hope to read more of such articles in the future as children’s voices need to be heard.

By Lister Namumba-Rikhotso

1 A GLAD refers to an article where the rights and welfare of children have been promoted.