• We all have the right to write. Anything we can say, we can write.
  • We all can write well if we are emotionally involved in our topic and our purpose. We find our voices there. Writing is learning and discovering. It develops best in real-life situations, with the instructor intervening in the writing process.
  • We learn to read by having written. We learn from our experiences, including experiences with oral and written texts. We should expose ourselves to many texts, and often do free-choice reading.
  • We learn best in collaborative, diverse, and supportive communities. We all learn in our own ways, and our home cultures affect how we interpret our experiences.
  • Moving through the writing process can produce powerful writing. We gain more ownership over our writing if we master the writing process.
  • Writing is a strong tool for developing critical thinking. Challenging our thinking as we write in collaborative settings, develops academic language proficiency.
  • We teach equitably:  not less, but more to the poor. We recognize our children's home communities and ancestral cultures as our educational partners.
Publishing
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Read here the latest issue of Young Voices, the newsletter of the Seli River Writing Project.

There is a great deal of discussion about the rights of the child in Sierra Leone. There is less discussion about responsibilities of the child. We discuss it in the Seli River Writing Project. It relates significantly to publishing.

Rights and Responsibilities

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is an agreement on children's rights which many countries have signed. The UK Committee for UNICEF published a leaflet called Children's Rights and Responsibilities, which contains a summary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The leaflet also explains that these rights imply responsibilities.

UN Rights of the Child[1]

Implied Responsibilities of the Child[2][3]

Article 19: Governments should ensure that children are properly cared for, and protect them from violence, abuse and neglect by their parents, or anyone else who looks after them.

If children have a right to be protected from conflict, cruelty, exploitation and neglect, then they also have a responsibility not to bully or harm each other.

Article 24: Children have the right to good quality health care, to clean water, nutritious food, and a clean environment, so that they will stay healthy. Rich countries should help poorer countries achieve this.

If children have a right to a clean environment, then they also have a responsibility to do what they can to look after their environment.

Article 13: Children have the right to get and to share information, as long as the information is not damaging to them or to others.

Article 28: All children and young people have a right to a primary education, which should be free. Wealthy countries should help poorer countries achieve this. Discipline in schools should respect children’s human dignity. Young people should be encouraged to reach the highest level of education they are capable of.

If children have a right to be educated and the right to express themselves, then they have the obligation to learn as much as their capabilities allow and share their knowledge and experience with others in ways that are not damaging to them or to others.

Article 14: Children have the right to think and believe what they want, and to practise their religion, as long as they are not stopping other people from enjoying their rights. Parents should guide their children on these matters.

If children have a right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, then they also have the obligation to respect other’s thoughts or religious principles.

Article 15: Children have the right to meet together and to join groups and organisations, as long as this does not stop other people from enjoying their rights.

If every child has the right to join a writing club, then a) they also must be mindful of who will have access to what they write, and b) they also must protect their own and others' copyrights and rights to privacy.

Article 12: Children have the right to say what they think should happen, when adults are making decisions that affect them, and to have their opinions taken into account.

If all children have the right to express their opinions and have them listened to, they also have the obligation not to slander.[4]

Article 29: Education should develop each child's personality and talents to the full. It should encourage children to respect their parents, and their own and other cultures.

Article 30: Children have a right to learn and use the language and customs of their families, whether these are shared by the majority of people in the country or not.

If all children have a right to be individually developed to the full, then they should also show regard for where they and others came from by respecting their parents and their own and others' languages, customs, and cultures.



[1] Quoted from leaflet #32124, Children's Rights and Responsibilities, UK Committee for UNICEF

[2] Derived from a Universal Declaration of Human Responsibilities, by an organisation called World Goodwill, composed of ex-heads of state.

[3] Some items quoted from leaflet #32124, Children's Rights and Responsibilities, UK Committee for UNICEF

[4] Slander is making false and wounding statements that can hurt people’s feelings and seriously damage their reputation, property, family, etc. People have a malicious intent when they slander.

 

 

Last Updated on Friday, 01 March 2013 10:04
 
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