The Inevitable Role of the Media and Its Practitioners in Child Protection: Fundamental Principle of Media Involvement: Personal Perspective (4)

The media and its practitioners must:

  • Become a self and conscience-appointed Social Police of Child Protection, leading the crusade of Enlightenment, which is superior to Enforcement.
  • Report cases, which affect children in your publication and follow it to a logical conclusion. In most cases reporting a matter that affects children is motivated by sensationalism, a gimmick aimed at increasing copy sales. Thus many stories are not followed to its logical conclusion and even attempt to influence public opinion.

Here are some suggestions on how the media and its practitioner can advance the cause of enlightenment as it affects child protection issues:

1. Straight Newspaper columns both online and hard form.

2. Investigative, dedicated and consistent news reporting, with aim of exposing to the public the whiles of child abusers and exploiters. New reporting will include giving ample airplay to children enlightenment events, seminars and conferences, with a view to ensuring that the message being propagated sinks.

3. Educate the populace on the provisions of the Child’s Rights Act, 2003 and Child Protection in your newspapers, using human angle stories, which connect and bring closer to the people the seemingly distant issues of children’s rights and protection.

4. Create a Child’s Rights Corner in Newspapers and News Magazine.

5. Sensitize editors of newsletters and magazines of professional bodies, pressure groups and companies etc. to begin to call attention issues that affect the children.

6. Get Role Models to make statements on the Child’s Rights Act, 2003 and Child Protection: we have a leaf to borrow from South Africa, where every respected and influential figure in the country has made one statement or the other on respect for the rights of the child and his protection.

7. All newspaper columnists, irrespective of your bias to put in a word for the Nigerian child regularly in their column.

8. Radio and television programmes producers should beam their focus on the Child Rights Issues and the protection of children as enshrined in the Child’s Rights Act, 2003 and other local and international legislations.

9. Create quality awareness by inviting to their programs seasoned and well-informed Child Practitioners in different fields, who are able to help enlighten the members of the public. It is my submission that except a man or woman is a professional and practitioner; there is a limit to how he/she can educate the members of the public on an issue beyond the mundane. Passion as talent is important but not as important as knowledge, attitude and skills. I see guests on the Television programs, hear some on radio and even read many in the newspapers, who are yet to understand or be grounded in the issues not to talk of educating members of the public on same. I believe for the print and electronic media to get seasoned and quality resource person to be interviewed on their pages and on their programs, they must do all their best to plan ahead. From my experience, most of the media people do not plan ahead. They have a program tomorrow morning; they are calling the resource person the evening before. It will take a lot of luck, which for example hardly work for me to get a quality person on a radio or television program without proper plan. I once told a producer, who called me a day before his program in the city where I live when I was actually out of town that with the way they handle things, they may never get a seasoned and quality people to appear on their programs. Visionary commitment and sense of mission demands that we plan ahead, research our topics and get the best in the field of discussion to lead such discussion.

10. Publish regularly in your newspapers and magazines both online and hard form and announce on your electronic media the directory of social service providers, both private (Non-Governmental Organizations)   and public (government agencies) who are available to handle child protection issues and also becomes the watchdogs of this social service providers to ensure that they are keeping their promises to the people.

11. A media outfit should identity a child protection issue or issues, set an agenda and adopt it as a Corporate Social Responsibility with the goal to create awareness, sway public opinion and revolutionize public values and habits toward such issues. For example the Child Marriage issue in Nigeria is a major issue that can be adopted. I will shed light on the CNN template, which is their campaign to end modern day slavery in the coming sub-session.

12. Media practitioners, who are interested in children matters, should come together under a pressure group to advance the cause of the children and operate from within the media to ensure that child protection matters attain the front burner of private and public discussions in Africa.

13. Child’s Rights Education has been mainstreamed into the curriculum of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). The goal is to familiarize and enlighten their students on child’s rights and protection issues. It is believed that such exposure at all levels to child’s rights and protection issues will spur the interest of the students from the college day and birth the zeal in them to plead the cause of the child through their medium. I believe all other institution and faculties, which teach mass communication, journalism and related courses should follow the example of NIJ.

14. Take personal responsibility for change and ask the question: what can I do on my own to help the cause of the child: maximize the use of the  new media “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” Martin Luther King Jr.

The truth is that we all have children and those who don’t have today fervently pray to.  Who knows the next victim of a child abuse?  It may be our cherished son or daughter.  Before you pray, `God forbid bad thing` ask yourself, `have I forbidden “bad thing” by speaking up for the protection of the rights of the child’.  How dare we ask God to forbid what we have not forbidden, which He has given us power to forbid?  That is bulk shifting and God forbids it. It was Martin Luther King who said, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere’. Martin Niemöller sounded the note of warning to collective nonchalance to a threatening social disorder like the threat to the child:  “First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a communist; Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist; Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist; Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew; Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak out for me.”

Thank you for joining us today. I urge you to Think the CHILD…Think TODAY…Think the FUTURE… Do have an INSPIRED day.

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The Inevitable Role of the Media and Its Practitioners in Child Protection: Fundamental Principle of Media Involvement: Personal Perspective (3)

Permit me at this point to share with you some traits of the media and its practitioners that will make a difference in the lives of the African Child:

1. VISIONARY COMMITMENT to the cause of humanity as a core value. One core index of measuring of a person or organisation commitment to the cause of humanity is the unalloyed commitment to the cause of the child. “I think if we want to say that life is changing for the better, that there is an improvement that we are better off today than we were yesterday – I think that must show in the children.” – President Thabo Mbeki, Commonwealth Summit on Children, 1999

2. A SENSE OF MISSION to be a Best-interest-of-the-child media practitioner. I mean a commitment to society and its cause. It means an eye for history, which has no respect for immediate gratification or pain. The reward is kept intact for the attention of the whole wide world. Perfunctory or business-as-usual professional catches the ever-busy attention of history and posterity.  Sir Eliezer “Elie” Wiesel, political activist, Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor, who is  the author of 57 books, the best known of which is Night, a work based on his experiences as a prisoner in two of Hitler’s concentration camps. When Wiesel, who had dedicated himself to the cause of humanity through his campaign for a world of peace  was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986, the Norwegian Nobel Committee called him a “messenger to mankind”, noting that through his struggle to come to terms with “his own personal experience of total humiliation and of the utter contempt for humanity shown in Hitler‘s death camps”, as well as his “practical work in the cause of peace”, Wiesel had delivered a powerful message “of peace, atonement and human dignity” to humanity.  Wiesel said, “There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.\

3. A SENSE OF MISSION GIVES BIRTH TO PASSION, which is the foundation of any successful and impact-making venture, noble or ignoble.

4. PASSION IS FUELLED BY INFORMATION. Information about a cause when properly received with a heart. This is the birth of EMPATHY. It brings us into the shoes of those whose cause we desire to plead.  Donald Frank “Don” Cheadle, Junior, in 2004, played a lead role as Rwandan hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina in the genocide drama. The role opened another chapter in his life as he became aware of the evil of allowing genocide of that magnitude. He immediately began campaigns for the end of genocide in Darfur, Sudan, and co-authored a book concerning the issue titled Not On Our Watch: The Mission To End Genocide In Darfur And Beyond.

5. When media practitioner becomes fully informed and empathy is born, it is important to note that empathy comes with a twin brother, whose name is HEALTHY CURIOSITY, without which we cannot have professional direction. It means, ‘you do not just look; you see. You do not just see; you interpret and you do not just interpret, you act. You don’t just act, you act, you act fast.’

6. When EMPATHY and the HEALTHY CURIOSITY become the children of the media practitioner, they open the floodgate of CREATIVITY (originality, imagination, inspiration, ingenuity, inventiveness, resourcefulness, creativeness & vision)     AND INNOVATION (novelty, modernism, modernization, improvement, advance & originality) AT THEIR BEST. Janusz Korczak aptly summed up his life thus, “the lives of great men are like legends-difficult but beautiful.Janusz was always fighting for a better community and education for the children. He was a principal for the children houses, a doctor, and paediatrician. It was Janusz Korczak, who introduced progressive orphanages designed as just communities into Poland, founded the first national children’s newspaper; His books How to Love a Child and The Child’s Right to Respect gave parents and teachers new insights into child psychology. Generations of young people had grown up on his books, especially the classic King Matt the First, which tells of the adventures and tribulations of a boy king who aspires to bring reforms to is subjects, which central theme is child participation.

I refer to the foregoing traits as the manifestation of a visionary commitment, which I will shed light on more in the next sub-session. When this is in place it gives expression to an unflinching commitment to a regime of advocacy that sets an achievable agenda to bring to the very first burner of  private and public conscience and consciousness the rights and responsibilities of the African Child for due respect in the best interest of the child.

Thank you for joining us today. I urge you to Think the CHILD…Think TODAY…Think the FUTURE… Do have an INSPIRED day.

The Inevitable Role of the Media and Its Practitioners in Child Protection: Fundamental Principle of Media Involvement: Personal Perspective (2)

I see that the media and its practitioners have twofold responsibilities:

The first fold is to educate the African Child about his rights and responsibilities. It is their responsibility to demystify the anti-children myth that children become rude to the elders, particularly their parents when they become aware of their rights. The protagonists of the myth forget that rights of children are given to them by God and without knowing and exercising them they can never live a normal life. They do not understand that we do not give children their rights, we only respect the rights have given to them. They do not understand that children play major and inevitable roles in their protection and ignorance is a major hindrance to them in playing that role.  They do not understand that teaching children their rights is not to condone their excess, which must be curbed through discipline, but to protect them from abuse, which does irreparable damage to their spirits, souls and bodies. They do not understand that it is part of the rights of the child to also know and be alive to his responsibilities as childhood does not mean liability.

It is sad to note that there are people working with children, who are stoutly defendants of this baseless myth. I am not even sure there are no members of the press, who believe that children should not be seen, not to talk of being heard. Few years ago, I met with the executive director of a Non-Governmental Organisation, which works children in the area of education to defend our proposal to teach children their rights. The executive director opposed our proposal on the ground that when children know their rights, they will become disobedient to their parents. It was so shocking that I was speechless.

The media is faced with a herculean task to not only education children about their rights but to reorientation those who are obstructing their education. Section 20 of the Child’s Rights Act, 2003 mandates private and public institutions to help children to understand and live up to their responsibilities as set out in Section 19 of the Act, which we have discussed in their sessions. Pleased find reproduced the express provision of Section 20: Every parent, guardian, institution, person and authority responsible for the care, maintenance, upbringing, education, training, socialization, employment and rehabilitation of a child has the duty to provide the necessary guidance, discipline, education and training for he child in his or its care such as will equip the child to secure his assimilation, appreciation and observance of the responsibilities set out in this Part of the Act.’

The second fold of the responsibility of the press is again divided into two branches: the first is to educate the members of the public about the rights and responsibilities of children. It will also require the media to galvanize the members of the public to demand the government and its agencies to establish structures, which will give teeth to the provisions of the Child’s Rights Act, 2003. For example the Act makes provision for the establishment of Specialized Police Unit, which is to comprised of trained officers, equipped to handle children’s matters in all its ramifications, including when children are in conflict with the law. The issue is that the Specialized Police Unit is yet to exist in the manner that the Act provides. The media need to bring pressure to bear on the Inspector General of Police to create and invest in the setting up of the Specialized Police Unit as envisaged by the law. What we have today all over the country is makeshift police sections, comprising in most cases of untrained and half-trained officers, handling children’s matters.

The second leg of the media role under this second fold is to set an agenda to see that the Child’s Rights Act is domesticated in the 12 states, which are yet to promulgate same in the last 10 years since the Act was passed by the National Assembly. It is common knowledge today that the following states are yet to pass into law at the state level, the Child’s Rights Act, Enugu, Kaduna, Kano, Sokoto, Kebbi, Borno, Yobe, Gombe, Adamawa, Bauchi, Katsina, and Zamfara. The recent crisis, which attended the amendment of Section 29(4)(b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria again supports the argument that these states should as a matter of supreme urgency and in the best interest of the child pass this laws. I have shed ample light on the foregoing when I discussed child marriage in the earlier sessions.

In my humble opinion, the Nigerian press has to a large extent been faithful in reporting cases of injustice against the child. But the press, I believe, beyond reporting needs to actually move to holding public officers responsible and accountable to the people, particularly as it pertains to the rights of the child.  Few sessions away, I made available a list of unresolved murder cases perpetrated against the Nigerian child. One bitter truth is that except the press plays its watchdog role, these cases will forever remain under the carpet, where it has been swept by a society that has reminded insensitive to the rights of the child.

That all hands must be at work to see to the protection of the rights of the Nigerian child is a fact that the society and the press as the watchdog can no more push aside, at least in the interest of good conscience and history.

Thank you for joining us today. I urge you to Think the CHILD…Think TODAY…Think the FUTURE… Do have an INSPIRED day.

The Inevitable Role of the Media and Its Practitioners in Child Protection: Fundamental Principle of Media Involvement: Personal Perspective (1)

The press is referred to as the Fourth Estate of the Realm because of the critical roles it plays in the society. I think these roles include being the traditional watchdog and beyond being a watchdog, setting agenda to give direction to the people on matters, which may be of personal and communal importance and of benefit to the people.

By the press here I refer to the entire gamut of the print, electronic and new media. If it is true that information is power, then the entity that disseminates information must be the engine room of power. It therefore goes without saying that when a nation lacks a vibrant press, it lacks information, it lacks power. It has also been found that at the foundation of any meaningful re-orientation is the consistent dissemination of information in the direction of the values the re-orientation seeks to establish.

The truth is that, without the press, what we call public opinion remains private opinion that does not exist beyond the roof of its owner. Thus no cause succeeds except the press actively supports it. The cold reality is, when the press is compromised, the collective mind of the society is compromised. And when the collective mind of the society is compromised, social, economic and political stagnation becomes the sole beneficiary of the situation.

Writing about the Nigerian press during the trying period of military misadventure in governance, renowned essayist, Adebayo Williams expressed the superiority of the pen over the gun thus “A properly educated mind will refuse to accept crude tyranny, for to accept tyranny is an act of intellectual self-dispossession, long after the guns have been silenced, the supersonic boom of ideas, the thunderous artillery of thinking will continue to echo.”

The foregoing becomes necessary to express the invaluable relevance of a vibrant press to any noble cause. It is also a historical fact that one enemy which any ignoble cause cannot survive is an upright press built on the unshaken wall of unimpeachable integrity.

Section 22 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria gives a clue to the role of the press in a civil society thus: “The Press, Radio, Television and agencies of the mass media shall at all times be free to uphold the fundamental objectives contained in this chapter and uphold the responsibility and accountability of the government to the people.”  The chapter referred to in the above provision is the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy (Chapter II of the 1999 Constitution).

Now, I will like to reproduce below some of the provisions of the Chapter of the 1999 Constitution in focus:

I.      “Accordingly, national integration shall be actively encouraged, whilst discrimination on the grounds of place of origin, sex, religion, status, ethnic or linguistic association or ties shall be prohibited.” (Section 15(2))

II.      “Children, young persons and the aged are protected against any exploitation whatsoever, and against moral and material neglect.” (Section 17(3) (f)).

III.      “There are adequate medical and health facilities for all persons.” (Sections 17(3) (d).

IV.      “Government shall direct its policy towards ensuring that there are equal and adequate educational opportunities at all levels.

Government shall promote science and technology

Government shall strive to eradicate illiteracy; and to this end Government     shall as and when practicable provide

(a)  Free, compulsory and universal primary education;

(b)  Free secondary education;

(c)   Free university education; and

(d)  Free adult literacy programme.” (Section 18(1) (2) (3) (a) (b) (c) & (d)).

Have you noticed that most of the provisions of the chapter 2 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria focus on children? The fact that the above provisions focus more on the child than any other member of the society means that the media has a major role to play in creating awareness on child protection. The media must also be ready to go beyond creating awareness for the provisions of chapter 2 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Majority of our people are not aware of the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Child’s Rights Act, 2003 and the Child Right Laws of the 24 states, where the Child’s Rights Act has been domesticated.

Do have an INSPIRED day…I charge you today to Think the CHILD…Think TODAY…Think the FUTURE…

 

To Recognize…To Acknowledge…To Honour…

To Recognize…
To Acknowledge…
To Honour…
This is your whole duty…
O ye wise man and woman….
As you relate with the ones, who God uses to nurture your destiny into maturity…
Recognition births Focused Pursuit, without which impact is impossible…
Acknowledgment births childlike submission, the oil with which instructions are eaten unto nourishment…
Honour births Profound gratitude to God and His vessels…
It’s to Recognize…
To Acknowledge…
To Honour…
Do have an INSPIRED week.
Taiwo Akinlami Sober on his knees on the LORD’s day.

You, Your Child and the Media: Relationship is the Operating Principle

Here is the conclusion of our discussion on this important topic…We conclude with the last set of the 10 principles to consider:

7. Regulate media exposure: It is your responsibility to regulate children’s media exposure. Experts have advised that televisions, computers, video games should not be in children’s bedrooms, turn off the TV during dinner.  If you read the experience of Joshua Cooke shared above, you will find that he watched ‘The Matrix’ in his room. He said concluding his testimony, which I shared earlier, sometimes I would play them 12 to 15 hours a day without leaving my room. I would have food and all kinds of things stashed in my room so I wouldn’t have to leave.’ The question I ask myself is, where were the parents when was Joshua was busy doing himself in with this toxic media contents.Apart from the foregoing we must cut down on the time our children spend with the media. Children and teens should engage with entertainment media for no more than one or two hours per day, and that should be high-quality and EDUCATIVE content,   encouraging ‘EDUTAINMENT.’ According to The American Academy of Pediatrics, children under two years of age should not be exposed to the television at all and children older than two should not watch more than one to two hours a day of quality programming. Their reasoning is informed by the fact that the first two years of life are considered a critical time for brain development.

8. Create Healthy Alternatives: ‘an idle hand is the workshop of the devil.’ Therefore it is not enough for us to regulate media exposure; we must create healthy alternatives which will engage our children. I believe we should encourage our children and teen to spend time on outdoor play, reading, hobbies, and using their imaginations in free play. I advise that we also encourage reading of books, newspapers, educative games like Scrabble, Monopoly etc. Kindly note that one of the ways to teach our children to read is to read with them. This principle also applies to everything we want to teach our children. We must teach by demonstration.

9. Relationship is the operating principle: if you have followed all the principles I have shared carefully, you will discover that they all answer to time. Permit me to submit that except we spend time to build meaningful relationship with we cannot play the regulatory role in the life of our children in any area of their lives. Our wisdom without time does not work with our children. So is our time without wisdom does not hold any positive promise for our children. Many primary custodians have delegated their responsibilities to secondary custodians like schools, house help and relatives. My fellow faciltitator on this session, Hillary Clinton said and I quote, ‘It’s time to turn the TV off and spend more time with our kids. Time is what every child wants and needs. We live in a fast world, where slowing down to spend time with our families is hard to do-unless we make it a priority. Our children are our greatest gift, our greatest responsibility, our greatest test…It’s time for us to look into our children’s eyes and remember what’s important.’

10. Formation of pressure group: I think primary and secondary caregivers of like minds should come together to form a formidable advocacy group which will stand up to educate parents about their pivotal roles in protecting their children from the dire consequences of negative media. I find a template of what I recommend in a US-based organization, known as Parents Television Council. The advocacy body exists ‘to provide parents with the tools they need to make informed television viewing decisions. We do this by monitoring primetime television shows on broadcast TV and reviewing many PG and G rated movies. We log all content that could be considered questionable by parents and we give them traffic light ratings according to the amount of sex, violence, and profanity incorporated into the series or film.’

The focus of the body which was founded in 1995 is further revealed by Wikipedia thus, council activities include attempts to hold advertisers accountable for the content of the programs they sponsor, encouraging the development of what the council considers to be “responsible, family-friendly ” entertainment, pressuring broadcasters to stop and/or limit television content the council claims to be harmful to children, as well as pressuring cable operators to unbundle cable channels so consumers can pick and pay for only the channels they want to watch.’

I believe pressure group of this nature will serve two purposes in our own clime. The first is that it will educate parents on the impact of negative media on their children. The truth of the matter is that many parents are not aware of their roles not to talk of being equipped to play such role. The second is that this kind of pressure group will agitate to get the regulatory bodies to perform their statutory responsibilities to the citizens of our great nation. I urge parents to begin to look in this direction immediately and take action without further delay.

Permit me to conclude that it is not enough for primary and secondary caregivers to claim that children are protected. Child protection is not a matter of wishful thinking. If child protection must be real, it must rest on the existence of a protective environment, which must be deliberately created by the primary and secondary custodians. A protective environment is palpable and tangible. It can be evaluated. It has three inevitable components: the first is a strengthened and an empowered family; the second is custom, which talks about carefully articulated rules and values, which protect children; the last is legislation. Legislation does not stand on its own; it must be used by the people and for the people to use and insist on its enforcement, they must be aware that it exists. If the people, who are in charge of our children as primary and secondary caregivers are not aware of the existing laws protecting children, there is a big shadow of doubts on whether children are protected under their care.  Today I charge to deliberately ask yourself as a primary or secondary caregiver if you can beat your chest that the children under your care are being raised in a protective environment.  I do not think there is a better way to sign out from here than to share the thought of Hillary Clinton as she opined, ‘bombarding kids with sexual messages on TV, in music, everywhere they turn…Adults are not fulfilling their responsibility to talk to young people about the future, about how they should view their lives, about self-discipline and other values they should have…It’s not birth control, but self-control.’

Thank you for visiting…Do have an INSPIRED day…I charge you today to Think the CHILD…Think TODAY…Think the FUTURE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You, Your Child and the Media: A Template For Screening

Welcome fellow custodians, I am here today as promised, permit to conclude the 6th principle to consider by sharing with you the rating, which must become the template for your screening as primary and secondary caregivers.

S/N Classification Description My Comment
1. G This classification rating indicates that the movie is suitable for viewing by persons of all ages. I advise parents to watch movies in this category with their children. In my experience of viewing, I have found that there are some films and videos, which are classified ‘G’ and they contain some questionable scenes that may confuse children.
2. PG This rating is applicable where the themes or content of the film may not, in the opinion of the Board, be suitable for all children therefore parental guidance is advised. I think for the parents to play their role under this classification, they must watch the films and video before they expose their children to same.

It may not be in the best interest of the child to watch this kind of films and video alone with first being screened by the primary and caregivers. As Ben Carson said about the human brain, it is easy to capture everything; the challenge is how to pull it out.

3. 12 & 12A Films rated “12” are not suitable for people under the age of 12. While films rated 12A advices consumers that the movie may contain scenes not suitable for persons under the age of 12 therefore, parental guidance must be applied. i.e, the child must be accompanied by an adult to view the film.

**Note that the requirements are not met if the adult buys a ticket, but does not accompany the child in the cinema for the duration of the film.

 

My advice will be as it is in the immediate classification, particularly as it relates to 12A
4. 15 The “15” films are not suitable for persons under the age of 15 as the content is strong in impact. There are legal restrictions governing who can be admitted to “15” films. Please ensure that you do not expose your children under age 15 to the films and videos rated 15. I also advise that for your children, who are between 15 and 18 view films and videos rated 15 you watch with them for you to know the information they are receiving.
5. 18 Films rated “18” are not suitable for people under the 18 as the content has a high impact. There are  legal restrictions governing who can be admitted to “18” films.

 

** People aged between 2 and under 15/18 cannot be admitted to a “15”/”18” film respectively.

 
       

Note: Classification Notices: Notices explaining what classifications “G” through to “RE” mean must be displayed in a prominent place where films are being exhibited and at entrances to all viewing halls.

Please note that as screening applies to taking your children out for movies, so it applies to the films and videos you watch at home. It is the role of the primary and secondary custodians to screen the films and videos their children watch and enforce the template shared above. It is also the role of the primary and secondary caregivers to ensure that operators and management of public viewing centers adhere strictly to the rating by allowing only children, within the age limits to view a particular film or video. The main issue here is how to determine the age of a child before admission into the public viewing centre.

The National Film and Video Censors Board provides a clue on the proof of age at public viewing centers thus: ‘cinemas may verify the age of an individual before they provide access to all legally restricted films (“12”, “12A”, “15”, “18”) A proof of age (in the form of photo identification- driver licenses, passport or some educational institution IDs which has a photograph and date of birth) may be requested before they provide access to legally restricted films.’ There are three major problems I have found about the issue of age verification: the first is that many public viewing centers do not do due diligence in the area of age verification. They allow parents in as long as they are with their parents. The second is that many primary and secondary caregivers are not conscious the whole idea of rating, therefore they do not adhere to it. The third is that there are primary and secondary caregivers, who try to compromise the officials of a public viewing center by appealing that their children should be allowed in to watch a film the children are restricted from watching. In some cases some primary and secondary caregivers may even promise the officials some pecuniary incentive to circumvent the process. I think the foregoing are very pathetic. These are not only acts of illegality but are also completely anti-children.

In conclusion, permit me to state that when you watch a title before you expose your children to them or you watch with them, you must be ready to answer every question concerning the titles. We must accept as a fact that the only foolish question a child will ever ask is the question he does not ask or permitted to ask. You must also ask the children questions to clarify the lessons they learn. As a matter of fact, you must create a time for you to discuss lessons with them collectively and even sometimes individually. The need to have individual discussion with a child may arise from your observation in the course the general discussion of the lessons of the title.

Kindly note that it will not make sense to screen what your children watch if you will not encourage them to ask questions and create time to discuss their titles with them. Please note that you may not have ready answers for their questions. Therefore it is not out of place to reschedule the discussion. I believe that every question must be answered according to the universal principle of how God created this world to function.

Thank you for visiting today. Do have an INSPIRED day. I charge you to Think the CHILD…Think TODAY…Think the FUTURE…