School’s Newsletter Seen as Tool For Human Rights Advocacy
Georgetown, Guyana, September 20, 2007.- Some forty-eight secondary school students across Regions 5 and 6, in East and West Berbice and Mahaicony are now better equipped in the skill of newsletter production, following a two day workshop hosted by the United Nations Children Fund [UNICEF] in collaboration with the National Commission on the Rights of the Child (NCRC) and the Ministry of Education.
The workshop, which was held in New Amsterdam, Berbice was aimed to introduce secondary school students to the utilization of school’s newsletter as a tool for Human Rights advocacy.
Students attending the seminar, were drawn from eight schools namely Mahaicony , Bush Lot , Fort Wellington, Rosignol Secondary schools in Region Five, and Berbice High, New Amsterdam Multilateral, J.C Chandisingh, and Tutorial Academy in Region Six, all in the secondary level. The student were accompanied by their respective Language/Information Technology teachers, and were all exposed to mini lectures by facilitators Karen Davis, who dealt with writing and editing, Jonelle Dummett who lectured on the use of television and computers and Robert Sam who addressed the issue of production of the newsletters.
Following lectures, which were conducted in an interactive environment, the students, some of whom had stayed overnight, created sample newsletters which were presented and assessed by the facilitators. At the conclusion of the workshop, students shared various views of the programme which they collectively agreed was an ‘eye opener’ for them, and expressed gratitude to the sponsors.
Nikasssi De Andrade of Tutorial Academy said she is more knowledgeable of the Rights of the Child, in addition of the definition of hard and soft news. Fellow student Danielle Sardinha of Mahaicony Secondary , was so impressed with the workshop that, she is planning a career in journalism, while Shemron Vyphius of Bush Lot Secondary learnt how to create appropriate headlines , and conduct accurate investigations. Another participant Naomi Christie of New Amsterdam Multilateral said the information received would enhance her knowledge, as she has learnt news values. The six former is of the opinion that with the newsletter the voices of youth will be heard creating an impact in their respective schools.
Their other colleagues Avinash Rabindranauth of Berbice High School and Talica Bristol of Fort Wellington Secondary, learnt how to interact with the new friends, while also learning about their concerns at their schools and how to store and produce information respectively.
The Newsletter production project began last year with students from two schools in Region 2, Abramszuill and Aurora secondary on the Essequibo Coast and two schools in Region 4, Annandale Secondary and The President’s College and saw the production of the first set of news letters for each school. The programme will be expanded to include schools in the other geographic regions of the country.
Among those attending the opening ceremony was Headmistress of the Tutorial Academy Ms Janice John, who also represented the Regional Education Officer. Ms Shirley Ferguson, Coordinator, of the National Commission on the Rights of the Child also addressed the participants.
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