Resources - Get Mad/Glad

Sowetan highlights Vuwani learners’ hunger to learn

1 July 2016

Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) would like to commend Sowetan for their article “Pupils crave for schooling“(17/05/2016, p.8).The article has been selected for a GLAD for portraying children in a positive way and accessing their views.

The story by Zoe Mahopo is about learners from Malingana Wilson Secondary School in Limpopo who spent a day cleaning up their school which was burnt down. This is after weeks of violent protests in the area which led to the burning of 24 schools resulting in pupils missing out on two weeks of tuition. According to the article, a group of 20 pupils from Malingana Wilson Secondary decided to take matters into their own hands and clean their school, so that classes could resume, instead of waiting on the government’s assistance.

We applaud Sowetan for accessing pupils in the article as this allowed them to tell the story from their own perspective and highlight how the protests had an impact on their learning. By doing this Sowetan enriched the story and showed that children’s opinions have value and need to be taken into account.

Sowetan also published pictures of the learners sweeping and carrying rubble from the classrooms alongside the article. The pictures showed the pupils in an empowering manner and further displayed their desperate need to get their learning back on track.

There is no doubt that Sowetan, and in particular Zoe Mahopo, did an outstanding job in promoting the voices of the children in question. MMA compliments the newspaper and the journalist for doing an excellent job and urges them to continue with such reporting.

By Girlie Sibanda

1 On a weekly basis, MMA highlights cases of good practice, where the media has promoted the rights and welfare of children, otherwise referred to as “GLADs”, as well as instances where the rights and welfare of children have been compromised through irresponsible media coverage, referred to as “MADs”