IT'S that time of the year again. Elementary and high school students are now being trained by their teachers for the Division Schools Press Conference, in preparation for the future press conferences in the region and nationwide.
It has been done for decades now with the primary intention to win. But how many of these students really end up as journalists or writers in the future? Is the will to win a sufficient motivation to keep going? Or is that a short-term goal in training the future writers?
Writing and being a journalist is not a lucrative job. But with the emergence of fake news, citizen journalism, and other contemporary concerns in the media, it is more imperative to have trained writers in the real world and not just in the schools press conferences to win.
The training for press conferences in the schools nowadays is following standards mandated by the Department of Education (DepEd). There is nothing wrong with that except that the standards set are not useful and are very different from the actual practice of journalism. The protocols and training standards seemed to only be useful to win DSPC, RSPC, and NSPC. But once you let go of these student writers and to let them write for an actual paper, they will realize that it is entirely different.
With all due respect to the teachers from the DepEd alone, the intention and the effort to train and improve the skills of these kids are really commendable. However, it would be really useful if the standards of training are also improved. We have to align it with the current trend and the current standards in journalism that is useful not only in the parameters of the contest but also outside. These students are our future journalists, future newsmakers, or perhaps even future lawyers. More than winning a press conference that may increase their value as students, they have to be trained to be more useful to the society in the future.
The responsibility of training these student writers are not only on the shoulders of the teachers and of DepEd. Journalists, concerned government agencies, and even NGOs are more than willing to extend help and assistance in training these student writers.
When we have students under our care and tutelage, it is important that we look beyond the immediate goal of winning. It is also helpful to consider that whatever lessons taught to them, they remember and bring to adulthood years and years after. As teachers, journalists, government workers, and members of the community, we have the obligation to train younger generation to also be useful in the society when their time comes to serve.