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Thursday, 11 May 2017

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Gazette is a local newspaper or official newspaper of an organization. School gazette is a local newspaper that is distributed in the school community and it covers the needs and aspirations of the particular school community.

THE STAKEHOLDERS OF THE SCHOOL GAZETTE
The School Gazette has the following important people:

The Head of School. The Head of School is the one who approves the issuing of the gazette and gives his or her stance on what he/she needs to be covered in the school gazette. He/she is the Head of the Institution and the school spokesperson so he/she is also responsible to make sure the contents of the school newspaper reflect his or her views.

The Editor. This is the Teacher responsible for editing the school gazette before it comes out. He/she should be aware of the contents that reflect the views of the School spokesperson (Head of School) because the visitors will be reading it on the noticeboard. He/she should make sure he/she does not allow the disturbing news come out. There may be more than one editor.
Normally, these editors are Kiswahili and English Language teachers, but the other teachers who have any experience about school gazette are welcome to help for the betterment of the school.

The Reporters. These are the students who are prepared and trained to report and compile all the news before they hand it to the editor. There should be a leader who is responsible for guiding others and keeping records of the past editions of the school gazette. The Team of the school gazette should have at least the following staff members who come from each class at least:
  1.      SIGN WRITER – The one who design the title of the gazette.
  2.     REPORTERS – These are Main News reporters and Sports reporters.
  3.     CARTOONIST – This is the one who draws cartoons for the gazette.

 KAREMA YETU has the complete team as you can see below:
From your right hand: Hellen - Reporter; Kachele- Editor; Kassa-Cartoonist(Sitting); Getruda-Title Designer; and Emmy-Reporter.

NB: They should come from different classes and sexes. The number is not limited. The school gazette can have more sign writers, reporters, or cartoonists. The editor or editors should try to encourage these students.

FORMAT OF SCHOOL GAZETTE EDITION
It is good if the school gazette is a weekly one, that is, it is issued every week so as to allow student-reporters to collect enough information for the gazette and to allow them to perform other school duties.
The school gazette that is handwritten should at least be on one page. If it is printed for the schools that have printers and computers, it may contain more than one page. For my school, we publish one-page handwritten school gazette and two-page printed edition.
The language to be used for the School gazette can be either Kiswahili, English or both Kiswahili and English mixed together. For those who are the beginners can see which is the best language for them, but for my experience it is better to begin with Kiswahili, then Mixed languages and later in some editions or all only English language can be applied for Secondary Schools. For Primary Schools only Kiswahili is the best choice. In Secondary Schools it is good to begin with Kiswahili so as not to intimidate the readers for the early days of the young gazette.
The sections of the school gazette should be few at first. For example, three sections are good those who begin. These sections may be:
  1.       HEADLINES SECTION. A section to write the summary of the news.
  2.      EDITOR’S SECTION. The section for the editor to say something for the week.
  3.     ONE MAIN NEWS. The Main News that is hot and significant.
  4.    ONE SPORT NEWS. The news about the local sport. Eg. The Staff vs Form One match.
  5.    CARTOON’S SECTION. The section entertainment and teaching as well.
  6.    STUDENTS’ SECTION. Here the gazette can publish students’ works like poems or publish the details of one students who has done something unique for the week (THE STAR OF THE WEEK).

 Below is the look of a handwritten school gazette:
The Format of Handwritten School Gazette on A3 paper
Even Cartoons are drawn by pencil to improve the natural drawing skills. See the example of one of the KAREMA YETU cartoons:
A Cartoon drawn by Emmy by a hand
A printed school gazette. KAREMA YETU has two pages as you can see in these two screenshots of ones of the editions of the gazette:
Page 1 of the Printed gazette. As you can see, it has headlines, editorial, main news, and contact of the team.

Page 2 of the gazette. You can see STAR OF THE WEEK section; another news; and short play composed by the students themselves.
Practically, I used this edition of KAREMA YETU to teach the features of play in Form Three. I was teaching the features of play like dialogues, speech, stage directions, and curtain, and this edition turned out to be my best teaching aid. I just took my students to the noticeboard and we read the play in the school then we identified these features of the play.
You can also watch this short YouTube Video to check some sample sections and Six(6) common tips of the normal School Gazette:

THE BENEFITS OF RUNNING A SCHOOL GAZETTE
Running a School Gazette at a school has a lot of benefits. I have my own experience how they are beneficial to the school, teachers, students, visitors and the community in general. The following are some of the benefits of running school gazettes at our schools.
  1.    Improving students’ talents like reporting, organizing, and drawing.
  2.    They serve as motivations to the students.
  3.    They inform school community and the visitors on various issues.
  4.    They entertain.
  5.    They give precautions on various things.
  6.    They serve as dependable noticeboards to school as editor gives his/her views on them.
  7.    They give the school new look. It is the school’s important ingredient.
  8.    They help to develop language (Kiswahili or English).
  9.    They impart literary skills to the students like writing stories, poems and short plays.
  10.    They also serve as teachers’ platforms. They can use it to teach or give certain information about their subjects.


RUNNING SCHOOL RADIO AND SCHOOL VIDEO TAPES
After successful schools gazette a school, the Team can launch the School Radio, for example, at Karema we have KAREMA FM that is associated with the school gazette KAREMA YETU. This radio operates mostly during debates where the reporters serve again as radio reporters. They read news orally. And this builds their confidence in speaking and entertains the audience.

If a school has more advanced tools like cameras, projectors, smartphones, tablets, and computers, it can launch another project. And this is School Video Store in which various dramas dramatized by the students and other scientific operations can be recorded and stored for the future use in the teaching and learning process. The school gazette and radio team can have control of this if the school guarantees that because they are the ones who store composed poems, composed plays and short stories they publish on the school gazette.
All these methods increase the learning chances to the students.

OTHER AREAS YOU CAN FIND GAZETTE
The school is not a peculiar area to find the local gazette. This local gazette can be found in various institutions like:
University.
College.
Seminary.
And many more institutions that aim to provide certain information to the local community.

CONCLUSION
Sometimes it is not easy to recruit the student-reporters. And it is not easy to persuade them for the first time, but after being involved and when they contribution is appreciated, they become more involved.
School Gazettes and Radios serve a lot in teaching and learning process. When we use them wisely and effectively we get the most out of them.

IF NOT IN THIS TERM, THEN TRY TO LAUNCH SCHOOL GAZETTE AT YOUR SCHOOL IN THE SECOND TERM THIS YEAR. And this is your site for any help you want to get started!

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For more about How to Start a School Gazette;
Contact me: +255765 884 936 or
Email me a question or comment via: kacheleimma@gmail.com


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