The education of our children has always been emotive and when the mass media is added to the mix, volatility is inevitable.
Hardly a country in the world is spared controversy in education, but when one looks behind the sometimes anarchic scenes, there is a lot about which to be optimistic and hopeful.
Traditionally, the mass media and education have enjoyed a love-hate relationship. On one hand television and newspapers particularly, have provided extensive and extremely useful education content. On the other, however, their newsrooms never seem to hesitate when controversy rears is ugly head.
In theory, it is absolutely vital for the mass media to keep an eye on the way in which ...view middle of the document...
Understanding perhaps, that after years of promises for proper school buildings to replace dilapidated, unhealthy, decades-old temporary structures, the only option left was to destroy the old building so that a new one would have to built.
There is no question that the only way in which the mass media can continue to perform its role as an education watchdog but at the same time become involved in helping build an efficient education system, is through improved communication.
This probably sounds extremely glib, but when you think about it, bad or non-existent communication has been the cause of everything from wars between countries to divorces between married couples.
In simple terms, this communication would mean the mass media and the education departments talking to each other a lot more. I have to say, though, that this is a wild hope and probably entirely over-optimistic.
However, I believe that two innovations will force this essential communication to take place.
The first is the involvement by private sector companies in the education environment and the second is new media.
Argo, for example, is a good example of a private sector media company that is successfully creating bridges between education authorities, unions and affiliated and non-affiliated teachers. Companies such as these are becoming vital links in improved communications among stakeholders.
The private sector is pioneering the use of new media, specifically social media in the education environment with for example, websites such as ed.org.za and increasing activity on interactive social media...