GIV­ING STU­DENTS A VOICE IN SCHOOL

Sun.Star Pampanga - - PERSPECTIVE! -

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.

— oOo—

The au­thor is Teacher III at Cad­uang Tete Ele­men­tary School, Ma­cabebe, Pam­panga

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