Mirror Magazine

26th October 1997

Junior Times

  • Is Television a threat to Education?
  • One of a kind

  • Is Television a threat to Education?

    Thushanthi de Silva, a year 8 student of Bishops college won the Intermediate oratory competition at her school with this speech......

    Firstly, what is education? Many a time are we mistaken into thinking that education is merely attending school, absorbing the studies, which are taught and obtaining good results in order to do a well-reputed job. It is true, that our future lies on our education and that our education confirms the way we decide to spend the rest of our lives. But as we are often told, education not only has the academic side. Manners, behaviour, language, level of society and our life style all depend on our knowledge. For example, our parents often warn us of strangers, and by reading the papers we learn to react to such situations by acting according to the information and instructions given to us. So education, too, is awareness. Aware of the things happening in this wide world of ours and simply knowing the ways of the world, so that we can gear ourselves up for the inevitable.

    Such awareness is spread, as you all know, through books, newspapers, radio, magazines and of course television. This source of media, is I think, the easiest and the most enjoyable way to create awareness. Just think, prior to the television being invented, knowledge was derived by reading books and looking at pictures, but unless they travelled,people would just have to rely on their books and on their imagination to know of the outside world; the countries, people and cultures. Sure enough, the pictures were quite satisfying, but imagine the thrill when finally people could see the earth not in lifeless pictures but in full motion scenes! Since then, with technology advancing with time, we now have the ability to sit in the comfort of one's home and have the television bring the world to us.

    Coming back to education, there are various T V programmes. From documentaries to lectures, there is something that suits every age and interest. They just make our present knowledge sharper. Through the dramas, comedies, films and cartoons, we are given subtle lessons in life as well as entertainment. There are even programmes like "Beyond 2000", which tells us of the latest inventions and what the future may hold for us through technology. And with channels such as the ' discovery channel" we learn about the wonders of nature and improve our wit. Happenings around the world come to us by news channels such as BBC.

    I agree, Television has its share of unsuitable shows for children, but they have to be guided. There should be certain time limits on watching TV. as this can lead to downfall on the other aspects of life. The television gives us much variety and we should know to choose. Among these advantages, the television is the easiest to understand, so be it a little child of three or an uneducated adult, it will always get the message through. With the newest graphics and amusing plots, the television provides leisure, after a hard day 's work.

    Education cannot be solely got on the T V, but it is a way of gathering information and it satisfies the mind of it's yearning to learn new, exciting things. So, in conclusion, my opinion is that television is not a threat to education, but television is education.

    One of a kind

    Orphaned as an infant, this unique albino gorilla is now a king-sized superstar

    Snowflake is in a league of his own. Rescued in the central African country of Equatorial Guinea in 1966 after the death of his mother, he is the word's only known albino gorilla and a star attraction at Spain's Barcelona Zoo. This year marks the 30 anniversary of his arrival at the zoo after a travelling naturalist paid $100 for the toddler-sized primate.


    Once at the zoo, Sonwflake's health rapidly declined until he was taken home and nursed by an experienced gorilla handler the wife of the zoo's chief vet. With a surrogate mother, the baby silverback had all the affection he needed and was soon happy and health.

    As with a human toddler, he was rocked to sleep and even had his nappies changed. But he also needed discipline and, on occasions, when he tried to bite his surrogate mum, she responded by biting him back! Apparently, this is standard gorilla mothering practice.

    During the past 30 years, Snowflake, a vegetarian who weighs 200kg, has fathered a record-breadking 21 offspring six of which have survived. None of them is albino because Snowflake's condition is caused by a rare genetic mutation and is not hereditary.

    Now Snowflake and his third mate, Ndengue, can look foward to spending their twilight years together in comfort.

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