By: JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
There is need for the media to influence choices that Adolescents and Young Persons (AYPs) make through the positive programming and news items.
Former Managing Director of Kaduna State Media Corporation, Tamani Yusuf, gave the charge, when presenting a paper titled: ‘Role of Media As Advocates Addressing AYP to Make Right Choices’ a One-day Media Executives, Reporters and Producers Meeting on Preventing Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) and Adolescents and Young Persons (AYP) Support in Kaduna State, organised by UNICEF and the National Orientation Agency (NOA) in Zaria on Friday, August 10, 2018.
“AYPs are influenced greatly by what they see on television, social media and what they hear on radio,” she said.
Speaking further, she said that the media can serve as a big motivator for AYPs.
“Motivate AYPs to know that if they can dream it, they can achieve it.
“Raise public awareness on the importance of parents making their children their friends, so that their children can discuss openly with them.
“Parents need to be connected to their children. Encourage parents to know the type of friends their children/wards keep.
“Impact moral values and morals education so that the ago cannot be influenced by peer pressure to imbibe negative habits.
“Parents need to inculcate strong religious, social and cultural values. Parents need to be good role models. and inspire ayps to dream big,” she stressed.
She said that issues adolescents struggle with include depression, school drop outs, peer pressure, mood swings as a result of hormonal changes, friendship, coping with stress, teenage pregnancy and anxiety.
“There is the need to share experiences with them so that they can tap into wisdom of other people who shared a similar challenge.”
Speaking further, she said that the media has a mandate to arm AYPs with values to help them stand against corruption and other issues.
“They need to be guided on what is right in terms of justice, patriotism, honesty, truth and good morals.
“AYPs should be encouraged that in the face of obstacles, they must not give up.
“Media must encourage parents to teach AYPs right values, how to spend their time, monitoring their smart phones, how many hours they watch television and how they use their computers.
“Parents must teach AYPs to be well disciplined at home and in school knowing what he/she is supposed to do at every point in time,” she added.
Yusuf charged the media to initiate programmes on dangers of drug abuse, HIV and other issues as well as develop jingles in different languages.