GIVING STUDENTS A VOICE IN SCHOOL
EVELYN L. BALINGIT
Students should be encouraged to speak their minds about certain aspects, especially those that directly impact them. They should be given a voice, so that they would feel that they are not being left out, especially in the school system.
We should also encourage students to be creative and practice critical thinking and more importantly, introduce them to values that strengthen moral character formation.
Some students express their thoughts through writing, and this is where campus publications come in. When our student journalists write, they impose honest opinion on pressing matters faced by their school. Their articles also may be of ample substance that readers can potentially ingest meaningful pieces of information out of them. Also, their articles should be fairly but fearlessly written.
What are the advantages of having a campus publication?
First, a campus publication is an avenue where students are trained on journalism. This is where they can practice “truth, fairness, and balance”. Though these values are taught better through experience, these are supplemented by their experiences in the classroom.
Also, what better way is there to provide check and balance? This goes for administrators, the student council, the students, and the school as a whole. The campus newspaper serves as the “eyes” of the students on things that are hidden by the system, and “ears” on things that are oftentimes just whispered within the school.
Now, the school itself should trust that the truth will always prevail. Schools should foster confident, resilient students who are eager and prepared to fight for the truth – although the truth affects people differently. The key is to listen and encourage students to discuss the truth and its effects from multiple angles.
Also, having a school paper means having democracy inside the school. It is an independent entity and answers to no one but its readers.
The author is Teacher III at Caduang Tete Elementary School, Macabebe, Pampanga