Child’s rights reporting curriculum addresses abuse- Communication experts

The infusion of Child Rights Reporting courses into Nigerian higher institution curriculum is addressing issues of abuse in the academic community and the society as a whole.

This was a common ground among Communication Experts who attended a two-day training of trainers programme of UNICEF in Lagos State, on the reviewed curriculum on Child Rights Reporting.

The Media Specialists also rated the imbue of the new academic programme to 90%, saying “practically every higher institution of learning in Nigeria have found a means of teaching rights of children and the need for their issues to be reported.”

Speaking on the studies of the course in Nigerian Universities, Professor Ifeyinwa Nsude, Department of Mass Communication, Ebonyi State University, said “if higher institutions priortise studies of Child Rights Reporting ,it will increase the level of awareness of students on their rights.”

Professor Nsude who was part of the unbundling of Mass Communication programmes in Nigerian tertiary institutions,  stated that the challenge of not knowing how to mainstream Child’s Rights Reporting into curriculum has been addressed.

According to her, “Child’s Rights Reporting is now been infused in the curriculum, I gave the course title that exists now as the Child Rights Reporting in the unbundled programmes of Journalism and media studies.”

She said; “This course is already addressing abuse of all sorts happening in the University I observed that some students are victims of abuse by some lecturers,many of the lecturers in these universities around abuse child’s rights and what baffles me is that the students don’t speak out

But the introduction of this programme in their curriculum is helping the students to know that they have rights and no lecturer can intimidate them.”

Professor Nsude added that the review meeting strategises on nipping trend of child abuse in university environment and to incorporate the entire society in it plans through the Child Rights Reporting course.

Sharing the experience of the Enugu State University Of Science and Technology ESUT, Dr Chidi Ezinwa, Dept. of Mass Communication, said his university emphasises the place of Child’s Rights protection.

According to Dr Ezinwa, ESUT concentrates more on the ethics of Child Rights Reporting as a way of helping students understand the need for them to be protected in the course of doing their reports.

He said; “In ESUT we look at whose job is it to protect the rights of the child in writing their reports,so that they don’t expose the identity of the child in their writing.

“Child Rights Reporting is important when you look at the target of SDGs and if you look at the implications they are directly on rights of the child ,we see that if they are no protected that means they are exposed to danger ,this is the main essence of building Child’s Rights into the curriculum”

“When we deny children these rights ,it mean we deny them opportunity of growing into responsible adults, “ Dr Ezinwa added.

On the University of Jos experience, Dr Lukas Tohorde stated that the institution have a course that encompasses the right of the child hence it’s fully implemented in the teaching of reporting courses most especially investigative reporting and feature writing.

Dr Tohorde said; “We have been able to introduce Child’s Rights Reporting into our course content to teach the course in the University of Jos.

“Basically we engage our students in field work and they source out stories that are child right related ,their rights to protection and survival.”

Earlier, UNICEF Communication Specialist, Dr Geoffrey Njoku said the workshop was organised to equip the trainers of the journalists in training institutions with relevant knowledge of Child’s Rights issues in Nigeria.

He said;”The training was to expose the trainers to the concept of four baskets of rights of survival, development, protection and participation.”

Mercy Chukwudiebere
Child’s rights reporting curriculum addresses abuse- Communication experts

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