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EDUCATION

Bring back educative reality shows

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 TELEVISION is widely acknowledged as “a powerful medium of our age.” Its visual immediacy gives its audience a feeling of participation more than any other medium. Irrespective of age, sex, social status, culture and background, people have different and specific motives and use for the television.

  Television could serve as a means of communication by sending information to the overall public as well as receiving comments from viewers. It could also be for education, sports and entertainment. Its usage depends on individuals, however, adults rely on the television as a source of information and getting familiar with various things happening in the society they belong and even beyond while the adolescents are more interested in the entertainment and other fun parts of media. It is widely assumed that young adolescents are affected more directly and negatively by the media than any other age group.

  Reality TV as a genre of television programming has grown over the years and has become an addiction of some sort for many of their viewers especially youths and female segment of the society. Reality show is centered on talents, intelligence, skills, agility, endurance, wisdom, etc, of participants on live TV shows. Some of these educative Reality TV series showcased in Nigeria in the past include; Guilder Ultimate Search, Who want to be a Millionaire, MTN Project Fame, etc, while it seems that some of them had been replaced by shows like Big Brother Africa and later, Big Brother Naija. Big Brother reality show and the likes have no doubt generated a lot of controversies in recent times, and worthy of note is the fact that the sponsors or organisers are near-faceless, and the show exhibits low moral values and falls short of what is expected in these days where people clamour for the good days when cultural and good moral values was at its peak.

  Some other set of people feel that some of these reality shows that are bereft of morals are therefore seen as non-educative, like our much celebrated Big Brother Naija which has raised a lot of moral panics among parents, teachers and guardians especially on issues relating to sex, nudity, violence, cheating and voting unfairness. The level of immorality being celebrated by these set of reality shows can be adjudged short of programmes intended for education.

  Mr Joshua Okudo, a retired principal in one of the public schools in Awka metropolis said “From the late 70s to the 90s, Nigeria was known for her rich educational TV programmes which informed, educated, enlightened, persuaded, integrated and at the same time, entertained viewers. But today, the love for these programmes has been overtaken by the trend of parents not having much time to scrutinise what their children or wards viewor watch via various digital medium.

  Taking a drive through the past, there is no doubt that past generations always weep for the present generations for what they have missed; which include good and educating TV programmes. The then generations and those before, confirm that these present generations are getting adulterated TV contents and programmes which are not in any way contributing positively to the life of the present generation of youths and education as a whole. For me, I don’t even know where this new generation is going with these kinds of things that they watch, seeing that what our children are made of is 80% of what they watch. So, I think it is high time we look into the reality shows that our children/wards do watch. All hands should be on deck to bring back educative programmes. If our governments refuse to scrape these shows, then parents should on their own find a way to restrict their children from watching and voting for these housemates. I believe that these shows will fizzle out once they stop getting streams of votes from people, especially the youths and school children who are their main subscribers.

  Airing her view on why educative TV series are now being replaced by the less educative ones, “Mrs Ginika Iloka, said: “Reality television is a huge part of our television viewing culture. It may be clear to many adults that not all is ‘real’ in the world of Reality TV. However, I worry so much about how children and adolescents understand the world of Reality TV. I am also worried about what Reality TV could be teaching these children, adolescent girls in particular, about what is valued in the real world. It should also worry every right thinking adult how these reality shows that they crave for affect their attitudes, beliefs, self-image and behavior.

  “In this age and time when the only thing people (adult and children alike) like to watch in Nigeria is violence, war, sex, erotic scenes and sometimes, even porn, what do you expect from a generation with keen interest? Modern parents, who are more obsessed with their jobs and making money, do not always have the time to sit down and watch these reality shows with their children, at least to be aware of their contents. There is no way things would get better when families and schools and indeed the society will be trying to discourage bullying, gossiping and other forms of interpersonal aggression between young people, and our reality shows will be busy featuring adults that are behaving in exactly the same manner, still, all the while continuing to gain popularity in mainstream media. Can’t you see that unless we change our attitude and go back to the drawing board, we cannot get anything right?

  How would one quickly forget ‘The Village Headmaster’, one of Nigerian’s longest TV drama series back then? The good acting prowess of ‘Oloja of Oja land’ played by Dejumo Lewis, Gorimapa, Sisi Clara, Teacher Oghenem, Councillor Balogun and others that made this TV drama one of the best from Nigeria.

  “How would one also forget ‘Things Fall Apart’ of the Pete Edochie (Okonkwo) fame? Also was ‘The New Masquerade’ which had the likes of Chief Zebrudaya alias 4:30, Ovloria, Gringori, Clarus, the one and only late Prince Jegede Sokoya and his troublesome Akpino (late Christy Essien) wife.

  Other great programmes back then were ‘Cock Crow At Dawn’, ‘Mirror In The Sun’, ‘Ripples, Behind The Cloud,”Adio Family, Basi& Company’, ‘Second Chance’, Samanja, Sura the Tailor, Koko Close, Awada Kerikeri.

  “The lists of these good and great programmes are many. Mentioning them only makes one sit and cry for the present generation of kids who have now become something else due to the adulterated TV contents they are now being exposed to.

  The new TV content and trend is music and dance based which is filled with lots of degrading moral value fillings. What mostly sell TV content nowadays are X-rated contents. This is eminent in our present music videos, reality programmes and so on. Though many have asked and wondered where we all got it wrong, but that still remains a puzzle yet to be unravelled.

  “The new crop of juveniles has argued that those TV programmes that wowed viewers in the past did so because there was not much competition as we now have. Their point is that back then; it was mainly the NTA and maybe LTV that were providing TV contents to Nigerians.

  “Some of these recent TV reality shows should as a matter of fact be scraped because they are doing more harm than good to our children. The government has the power to say these are they programmes that would benefit our children and these are the programmes that should be Okayed. The Nigeria Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) should see this as a matter of urgency and take the bull by the horn.

  “Nigeria is a country made of traditions and culture which is also enshrined in its constitution. More values should be placed on education and information. And most programmes that are not of benefit to the youths of the country should be scraped to bring back sanity for a better tomorrow.

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