The Covid-19 pandemic has affected so many sectors in South Africa and one of these is the education sector. Education in the country has greatly been affected to the extent of affecting performance of learners as schools have had to be closed or put on rotational learning basis on more than one occasion in the last two years. Yet despite these challenges, some children have excelled in their academics. Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) awards a GLAD[1] to IOL for positively reporting on a child’s achievements and accessing him in the article.

The article which is written by Harvest Thwala is titled, “Grade 11 computer science geek nets Eskom bursary” (22/02/2022) and reports on a Grade 11 pupil, Kutlwano Tshatiwa from Gabenewe Secondary School who won a bursary at the Eskom Expo for Young scientists. The article reports that the 17-year-old entered and won in more than 10 contests in the computer science field. The biggest win assured him a bursary for his studies in 2023 when he goes to tertiary.

The article further reports that Kutlwano was motivated by his passion for software development from the age of 13. He is quoted saying, “I am happy with this win. I have been interested in software development since I was 13. My interest developed when I could unlock cell phones.”

The article is accompanied by a photograph of the child carrying a trophy and a certificate. The child is also portrayed positively. Furthermore, MMA commends IOL for ensuring that the child had an opportunity to have his voice heard in his story.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)[2] outlines children’s rights to freedom of speech in Articles 12 and 13. South Africa ratified the UNCRC in 1995. By accessing the child for his views, the journalist adhered to the UNCRC and also enriched the article with the child’s views.

MMA also congratulates IOL for highlighting the child’s achievement as this celebrates the child.

We commend IOL for its great reporting where a child’s right to expression is promoted and for portraying him in a positive light. We encourage the media to keep the good work of highlighting children’s achievements all the time.

Written by Ntsako Manganyi

Edited by Lister Namumba

[1] A GLAD refers to articles where the rights and welfare of children have been promoted.