By By Ma. Gina M. Templonuevo, Ed.D.
posted 10-Feb-2019  ·  
696 views  ·   0 comments  ·  

The Division of Catanduanes is regularly conducting Division Elementary Schools Press Conference. It is a gathering of school campus writers together with their school paper advisers primarily to conduct contest in the different journalistic events like news, editorial, feature, sports science and health writing, collaborative desktop publishing, cartooning and photojournalism. The pupils who participate in these contests are usually those who excel in their class, those who belong to the top ten.

This year; however, the rate of participation of campus writer delegates from schools has gone down slightly from the last year’s more than 500 to less than 500 now. I interviewed some school paper advisers and they reasoned out that the school has no sufficient fund that is why the number of participants from their school was reduced by their school head.

I wonder why the parents and school heads allowed the non-participation of their potential campus writers. They must know that aside from honing writing skill, on a deeper sense, the Press Conference teaches independent thinking and social awareness among others.

Press Conference is one of the best avenues for the pupils to ask questions or to make some interviews and put into writing the information that they have gathered, then analyse the issue and make some conclusions. They are also given hard facts usually about current events that affect their lives for them to make comments and solutions. They need to be trained this way; to think independently because when they grow up and land a job, they will use the skill to make decisions that will turn around the organization.

Aside from developing them to become independent thinkers, our young campus journalists also learn from the activity that they should be involved in societal concerns. As members of the society, they have the responsibility to take part  in the activities in their community and follow the laws being implemented therein. The Press Conference teaches them not to sit back and just see what is happening around them but to think of ways by which they can be of help and encourage other people to open their minds and cooperate.

I urge the school heads as well as the parents to see the benefits of allowing the pupils who have the journalistic writing skill to join the Press Conference. Not everyone can write articles; it is a rare skill and a God-given talent that should be nurtured. We want to develop children who are independent thinkers and socially aware as early as possible in their elementary grades because in time, they will live on their own and some of them might become leaders in the future.

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