Since media is a major key player in the life of any person; many young people are being driven by it. What is our role as education stakeholders to ensure that the right information is being accessed by these young people? What are the things we should start doing?
We must ask ourselves, do we even have enough content out there, before we even encourage young people to take advantage? I would also say, we are not very intentional because we see how strategic these people who are luring our young people into negative things are; strategic in their content, strategic in their delivery, the creativity, and the resources that are being pumped into it. And I ask, if we are intentional, how effective, how strategic are we to give an alternative that is not just healthy, but creative, and appealing? We lack content. We have a lot of content that is not appealing, that young people can’t even connect with. Content, that is boring.
One of those nights, I was working on something and I was even tired. But I told myself, these people that are after getting young people; luring them into all manner of things via the internet, they are not even going anywhere, they are available. How available are our resources, how strategic, how creative, and how is it connecting?
For us in Africa, there is a lot we still need to do. I think we are not strategic enough to push out content. I hear some educationalists that say, “not TikTok! Not Snapchat! I can’t be there.” But we need to go there and create content. We need to go there and create educational content because our young people are there. We can’t say, “No! We can’t go there. My school can’t be on TikTok.” Why won’t your school be on TikTok? Where the students are? What content are we creating to counter what they are watching there? So, you see millions and millions of videos that are not adding value, but that is strategic and appealing to young people. So, there is a lot we need to do.
I think we need to dismantle this mindset of “oh no! we don’t have to be there. How are we creating videos? Contents? How are we creating things that will help them learn? So, if we want to work, then we have to wake up to the responsibility. We don’t have enough strategic, intentional contents that appeal to our young people. And if we want to reach this generation then, it is certain, that there is no way that we will not do this.
So, there is content but we need to be creative; in creating videos, creating talks, no matter how short they are but impactful. As young people go there, they are having enough content to feed their minds, help them reason, to help deepen their understanding.
The challenges of our young people are so enormous, they are having one thousand negative videos to two good videos, one thousand bad videos to five good videos. And these are on the top of the field, they are on the top of the chart. They are being suggested to them. They are being sponsored. How strategic are we? These things will not just fall on us, we have to work for them. That’s why I say, we still have a lot of work reconnecting with young people in our generation, a whole lot of work.
Lastly, I’ll say, let’s engage the young people in the content we are creating for them. Let us engage them. They are ready. Let’s pump in the resources. Let’s do our adverts, let’s do our videos, let’s push it out. And let’s go to Snapchat, let’s go to TikTok. Let’s have them there, on Facebook. So, that they can learn in a way that is strategic so that we know that we are not losing them. And when we say go there and be safe, what content are we putting out there to help them be safe, and also have the social feel they need to have and stay within the ambiance of safety? We still have a lot more to do as educationists.
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