Learners discuss issues on air

2015-10-29 06:00
 Optimistic Youth Reporters and guests present a radio show PHOTOS: PASQUA HEARD

Optimistic Youth Reporters and guests present a radio show PHOTOS: PASQUA HEARD

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Learners from the Centre for Science and Technology (COSAT) in Khayelitsha, aired their first high school radio show last week.

And they’re not shying away from difficult topics. The group, known as the Optimistic Youth Reporters (OYR), debated teenage pregnancy in a twenty minute live broadcast for staff and their fellow students in the school hall.

Last Monday the presenters discussed whether teenage fathers should face the same consequences as teenage mothers and the role that each should play in raising the child.

Their debut guests were their fellow learners from the school who shared their thoughts on the subject.

Some responded in English while others spoke Xhosa. Music played in-between the dialogue.

“It’s expensive to raise a child, so the mother and the father must work together,” said a guest.

Another said, “The mother and the father play very different roles. The mother carries the baby for nine months, so she must stay at home in that time to make sure that the baby is healthy.

The father must be supportive and continue education. Once the baby is born, the mother can go back to school.”

“Teenage fathers took part in making the baby, so they should also take responsibility for the baby,” said another girl.

One of the presenters asked what teenage mothers can do if they do not want to depend on teenage fathers.

”We want to pull away from the stigma that Khayelitsha is corrupt and dangerous, and rather give it a positive stance.”

A girl guest responded: “They can go to NGOs that have clinics that will help support them, because sometimes their families aren’t supportive of teenage mothers. There are also child grants.

Also, if they want the father to pay maintenance, they can go to family courts.”

A few students said that teenagers should avoid practising unsafe sex, which could lead to sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy.

Khanyisile Ngcolo, one of the show’s reporters, said, “I was trying to give the view from the women’s perspective. The dad, including stepfathers, must also play a role in raising the child. We want to cover topics about issues that affect the community, like gangsterism.

“I think the radio station provides a good platform for COSAT. The learners liked the idea of being informed,” said Thokozani Nqwili, another reporter.

DJ Elethu Rotsho, who spun the discs, said: “I panicked and couldn’t reach some of the buttons. Next time I’ll be more experienced.”

Rotsho explained that the OYR did research on the internet and through interviews conducted with learners both at COSAT and other schools.

Experienced radio journalist Linda Daniels of the Children’s Radio Foundation, has been working with OYR since 2013. CRF, together with OYR have been producing regular radio features for SAFM. For this, OYR received The Best Debaters Award at the National Youth Radio Awards.

Daniels says that the students have been taught about accuracy and ethical reporting. She was thrilled with their first performance, she said.

Their next radio instalment will be aired in the new year.

“We would love for the show to air frequently and we hope to get a transmitter in the future,” said Daniels.


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