School strikes: same old coverage, expecting different results

I have watched media reporta on the school strikes for the whole month and I have to say I am pretty disappointed about it. The media has done a lot of work to make sure that we know the strikes are there but little has been done to talk about the issue in depth.

When the first strike happened at Kisumu Girls where the Girls torched a dormitory we all thought it would be an isolated case of a school going on strike. However the fires continued spreading to Kisumu County.

Though the media has been doing a good job doing reporting about the issue there are things that are missing. For one the first few weeks only the side of the Ministry of Education officials and they only had one explanation and that is students are afraid of examinations.

The media decided to run with this story. For instance the Nation ran a story that really went on to look at the reasons that students are striking. The story which went out to point out that students are blackmailing school administration into helping them cheat in their national examinations.

The story quoted reports from the different Ministry of Education departments such as the Quality Assurance and Standards. However, very little was done to cover other angles such as why students are refusing their new principals and what is the view of other students.

Other media houses have tried discussing it but have failed to get a proper angle. In his show, Ben Kitili allocated a few minutes to discuss the issue. One of the panel members pointed out that boarding schools are just over-glorified prison cells. Another pointed out the lack of seriousness by Ministry of Education officials.

However other TV stations took a different angle. For instance on Sidebar, Ken Mijungu decided to use his My Take segment to talk about this issue. He went to point out the issue being a “millennial problem” as strikes have become more rampant in the early 2000s.

His show guests also mentioned that some parents had left the parenting to teachers and hence the high level of indiscipline.

For the media, it has been about throwing around the blame and not really going indepth to find out what is going to happen.

The media needs to get serious they have watched this happen the third time. It is high time they pushed the right buttons and got to the bottom. Problem with the Education sector is lack of a consultative process and the children who are the main clients are treated like people who don’t matter.





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