Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Valley FM issue framing

At the Valley FM training workshop, we decided on education as the key issue to start with, and produced three approaches. We decided that each of these approaches is actually an issue in itself, and it would make sense to have a series of 3 forums, one every 2 weeks, each dealing with each of these topics in turn. This would then be a campaign, entitled something like: “Schooling in the Breede Valley – what can we do to improve our children’s education?

The format will be as follows:

The team will do further framings of each issue, doing research and gathering a range of opinions as part of this process.

Once the framing is done, introductory inserts will be produced for each issue. These will be pre-recorded audio features.

A live forum will be held at a suitable venue on a Tuesday. The pre-recorded inserts will be played as part of the introduction session to that forum. The forum will be recorded, edited, and then played on air on the Thursday evening. The Thursday evening programme will be called “Gemeenskaps-agenda” (Community Agenda). It will run between 8-10 pm. The first hour, the pre-recorded forum will be played. The second hour, there will be a studio discussion with relevant role-players, and the telephone lines will be opened for call-ins.

This will be repeated every 2 weeks. The fourth fortnight, the first hour will consist of a reflection on the 3 forums and discussion programmes (with decision-makers in the studio), and talking about a way forward. The second hour, listeners will be asked to call in and suggest/discuss possible future topics.

We will publicise the programmes in the local newspaper, and also use the paper to report on the deliberations.

Approach 1: How do we create a Good Learning Environment for our children?

The problem is that our schools are not properly equipped. Many of the schools are not well looked-after or maintained. In addition, schools are unsafe – children cannot learn properly when there is bullying, gangs, drug dealing and use, and sexual abuse.

This is what was listed during the initial framing:

Libraries should be equipped with sufficient reading material.
There should be proper laboratories for science subjects.
Schools need computer rooms – enough for children to be able to learn on.
Classrooms should be learner-friendly.
Teachers need material/equipment for class presentations.
Counsellors and counselling rooms are needed (teachers should be trained in the necessary psychological skills to meet the challenges of the school situations).
We need safe schools

We need to de-stigmatise the action of calling in the safe-school experts. Personal petty preferences hamper the introduction of necessary programmes at schools.

Need to install security cameras for monitoring drug trafficking, vandalism and personal safety.

Security: warn children against sexual abuse and other abuse/ harassment outside school premises and in school buses.

Approach 2: How do we improve parent participation in children’s education?

Why is it important?

It allows parents to take responsibility for their children’s success.
It breaks communication barrier between parents and teachers.


Checking children’s work on a regular basis. Enquire about school happenings. Attend extra-mural activities.

Attend parents’ meetings. Parent and tutor – regular interaction.

Avail yourself to be in school governing bodies, sports coach, etc.

Church groups, employers, sports bodies etc could help encourage parental involvement.

Community announcements and other educational campaigns would encourage parental involvement.


Students get dedicated and determined to do their work

Ensure parents responsibilities for their children’s success.

Teachers will be determined to do their job (professional responsibility/obligation).


Teachers may feel that parents are interfering.
Parents may feel inadequate – since many are not educated, or curriculum is so diffferent now.
Parents are already over-stretched, they don’t need to have more responsibilities (and feel more guilt for not keeping up).

Parents, teachers and children will have to make time to ensure regular interaction.
Students may have to sacrifice some leisure time.

Approach 3: Teachers and Principals need to do a better job


Principals must ensure that they are aware of new developments at schools
-They must ensure teachers do their jobs
- teachers must get extra training so that they understand the curriculum better.
- Teachers must remember that they are role-models for our kids,
- school governing bodies should be more involved at the schools

(need some more institutional actions)


Principals will always be aware where there is something wrong at schools.

Teachers will do a better job if they understand the curriculum.

Learners will start respecting their teachers.

The school will have a higher pass rate.


Teachers might not be willing to go for extra training

Learners might be scared/afraid to communicate with the teachers.

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