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Media urged to shun negative stories

Government spokesperson Col. (Rtd) Cyrus Oguna has urged journalists to shun negative news stories, but instead focus on relaying positive aspect of issues to the citizens.

            Oguna said it was regrettable that in the past two weeks, all published or aired news stories about learning in schools since reopening were full of negativity.

Speaking during a presser at Marigat deputy county commissioner’s office, Baringo County, Wednesday while visiting schools in the region to assess the progress of learning, the government spokesperson said that for the media to play its role of generating and circulating accurate information, it must shun focusing on negative stories only.

             Oguna emphasized on the need for reporters to exercise responsible journalism by putting more emphasizes on positive development like informing the public on the various initiatives the government has put in place to mitigate the effects of Covid-19 pandemic on learning.

            “Government and media must have a symbiotic relationship and therefore, the media need to support all efforts by the government to ensure resumption of learning in our schools takes off smoothly. There is no need to dwell on telling the public how children are learning under trees. It is common knowledge that there are no adequate classrooms and we have advised our teachers to utilize all available resources at their disposal,” he emphasized.

            The spokesperson accompanied permanent secretaries Peter Tum (Labour), Jerome Ochieng (ICT & Innovation) and Joseph Irungu of Water and Irrigation in visiting selected schools in the county to monitor and assess the progress of learning in institutions since resumption of learning two weeks ago.

            Ochieng said that the Covid-19 pandemic, has seriously disrupted school calendar not only in Kenya, but globally and therefore it was imperative for local media to take the positive side of the learning process rather than picking on minute issues and allocating them more space.

            He said that the innovations being implemented by school managers and teachers like utilizing open space, dining halls and any other available rooms within institutions as classrooms should be commended instead of being interpreted to mean that children were taking lessons under trees.

A team of principal secretaries led by Labour PS Eng. Peter Tum (middle) and ICT PS Jerome Ochieng (left) visits Kabarnet Boys High School in Baringo Central during a visit of schools in the region to assess the progress of learning.

            “We urge the media to send the right signals to the public that things are on the right way. Let us avoid sensationalizing news, but instead focus on relaying the truth about situations to the citizens,” restated Ochieng.

            On his part, Labour PS Eng. Tum, the team leader, advised KCSE candidates at Kabarnet and Bartolimo high schools to study and revise seriously for their forthcoming national examinations slated for March this year.

             Tum asked head teachers to work very closely with the county multi-agency team in ensuring that candidates who have not reported since reopening were traced and brought back to enable them catch with up with the rest in learning.

            He also asked head teachers to consider assisting needy students who cannot afford face masks with some.

            The PS stated that the government initiative of operation back to school was aimed at making sure that all children in both primary and secondary reported to school after nine months break occasioned by Covid-19 pandemic.

            The County commissioner Henry Wafula who accompanied the permanent secretaries in visiting selected schools across the vast county lauded the government for putting in place various intervention measures to ensure children whose schools were submerged by floods were assisted to continue with their studies uninterrupted.

 Wafula disclosed that the national government through State Department of Devolution had given the county 100 hard cover tents for distribution to needy households and schools with acute shortage of classes due to increased enrolment, 100 mosquito insect treated nets, 312 bales of unimix to be given to children especially those in ECDE levels as well as 53 blankets and iron sheets to mitigate the situation.

by Joshua Kibet

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