Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) commends and awards a GLAD1 to the Sowetan for allowing pupils selected to take part in an international maths competition to speak about their achievements and giving them the opportunity to demonstrate to other children that hard work and commitment yields great results.
In the article “Maths whizz kids to test skills in Bulgaria” (21/05/2013, p.18), the journalist, Marisa Louw highlights how the children developed a passion for maths, what inspires them and how being experts in mathematics has taken lots of hard work and dedication.
Mbonomuhle Mncwabe, one of the pupils set to take part in the competition was quoted in the article saying that “Maths is an important subject to him because it triggers critical thinking and is a basis for understanding more complex concepts”. Another child, Nkanyiso Mthembu is quoted saying, “The knowledge and principals attained in maths can be used in other aspects of life.” It is quite heartening to hear positive and refreshing perspectives from pupils especially given that media coverage tends to paint a doom and gloom picture of South Africa’s education system.
More so, by providing children with opportunities to speak for themselves, the coverage breaks away from the media’s common portrayal of children as victims and as not having a voice.3
It is positive stories like this one, where children are allowed to share their achievements, which reinforce the recognition of children as role models and worth listening to.
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”↩
2. The newly launched research report by MMA confirms that children are seldom heard on matters that concern them and are often shown as victims. To read more about the research visit: https://www.mediamonitoringafrica.org/images/uploads/Coverage_of_Childrens_Rights_in_Media.pdf↩