Elombah
Take a fresh look at your lifestyle.

Classroom not photo studio ~ by Ofonime Honesty

29

Goings-on in the polity have triggered a need for a review of certain actions and inactions which have crept into mainstream lifestyle. The times are sordid. Hitherto weird occurrences now manifest at neck-breaking frequency. Everyone seems culpable – directly or indirectly.

The upcoming generation seems to suffer the worst brunt of the actions and inactions of the older generation. Their proper grooming, safety and mentorship have been apparently hampered to a large extent.

The damage transcends the boundaries of homes to schools. Schools which were hitherto safe havens for the younger generation have now become breeding grounds for ills and hunting grounds for internal and external paedophiles and even predators, who abduct them.

Our news channels now run regular familiar but sordid tales of how hordes of pupils or students are abducted and taken to God-knows-where, and how the abductors are vowing to figuratively skin and eat them alive if wads of million currencies are not paid for their release. The trend is on the increase.

Cyber bullying and early exposure to x-rated content have also become associated risks of the malady.

Many have screamed their lungs hoarse, decrying that adults, through their actions and inactions, are aiding and abetting the issue.

Parents are guilty, guardians too, even teachers in some instances.

A statement of fact is the surge of upload of unauthorized social media content by teachers. Teachers concerned have developed a knack for taking pictures and capturing video clips of their students/pupils, and uploading same on social media platforms. They let social media “friends” into some exciting moments and the not so exciting ones in schools.

Before going further, I wish to emphasize that I admire the zeal exuded by teachers in their professional field. I also admire their patience, perseverance, commitment, and most importantly, their passion for their profession.

But in displaying passion, rules of engagement have often been violated by the tutors.

No doubt, social media services can be utilized for educational purposes. Such purposes should however not cross the boundaries of privacy, security and right content. Educators have to teach the safe use of social media and use it safely themselves.

Although the issue has not yet become an epidemic, there is need for restraint. School management, parents and guardians have a role to play in this. My suggestion is for schools to have media content generation agreement with interested parents and guardians – on this, both parents and students should be properly briefed in advance about the purpose of such content generation and the target audience.

Where live streaming of e-learning programmes takes place, those concerned may have to ensure that delicate details like facial features are shielded.

Filming from the rear should also be taken into consideration. In most instances, however, e-learning programmes are beamed from empty classrooms and participants hook onto it from their respective environments.

As earlier stated, this writer wishes to emphasize that social media, if properly harnessed, can play great roles in the process of knowledge impartation. e-learning, for instance, aided by social media, offers a veritable avenue for exchange of ideas and online literacy.

The pros and cons exist, but a middle ground has to be found. Utilizing the pros side requires proper regularization by management of schools.

It shouldn’t just be left for a social media freak teacher who only pleasures in taking random, unauthorized pictures of pupils and students just to feed the eyes of social media followers.

Their privacy, safety and proper mental development must be prioritized.

Ofonime Honesty writes in from Uyo, Akwa Ibom State; +2348023314809 honestyofonime@yahoo.com.

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