BBC School Report Goes Live:
21st March 2013
Good afternoon, we are reporting live for BBCNEWSSchool Report from BannockburnHighSchool in Scotland.
We have covered a number of stories including the Syrian Conflict, yesterday’s budget, Food banks, the Scottish Independence Referendum and today’s weather summary.
Our news team includes Ailsa, Gemma, Eva, Craig, Scott and Alistair and our consultants are Natalie and Jennifer.
Here are our school reporters.
Today is an exciting day for our school as our school reporters will report the news live on a special TV and radio channel. It will be streamed on www.bbc.co.uk/schoolreport and via the red button between 8.30am and 4pm, and again on the red button between 6pm and 7pm, as well as here on our website. We have already held our first editorial meeting and we are all busy at work. Keep checking for more updates throughout the day.
here is a picture of our first editorial meeting.
SYRIA CONFLICT – RUINING THE FUTURE OF THOUSANDS OF CHILDREN, WHILST THE WORLD WATCHES
For two years now Syria has been in a merciless civil war with more and more innocent people being slaughtered. The war is a conflict between Syrian government officials and civilians uprising in protest of their ways.
The battle began 15 March 2011, around the time of many other demonstrations from countries surrounding it, known as the ‘Arab Spring’, a time of upheaval for so many in the Middle East.
Protesters or ‘rebels’ as they have come to be known, demanded the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad. As these protesters became increasingly violent, they formed an armed rebellion.
However, without any one particular leader, the rebels did not succeed in their attempts to overthrow the authorities, as a strong and well-organised government retaliated. Many organisations across the globe designed peace agreements, though neither side would sign and so the fighting rages on.
In a conflict that has claimed the lives of over 70 000 people, innocent children of all ages – toddlers to teens – find themselves caught in the middle, the next generation of emotionally disturbed soldiers growing up in a world where they know nothing but death and violence.
Teens as young as 14 years old often drop out of school and make a living carrying groceries home for people for a small tip – but unlike most kids in the world we know, these children do not then buy themselves a new pair of shoes or go see a movie. These kids hand the little they earn over to their families trapped in the poverty caused by war.
Many boys pump gas at stations for tips from the richer people of Syria. Those who can’t find work simply beg at the side of the street.
More than 2 million children in Syria are facing malnutrition, disease, severe trauma and early marriage as a result of the war.
Take a moment to imagine their life; having dropped out of school four years ago at eleven years of age to sell whatever she could make, a girl watches her mother being shot. Her father loves her but she is another mouth to feed and is in danger of violent sexual abuse, and is therefore married off to a man, with a significant age difference between them. This uneducated, traumatised and seemingly unwanted fifteen year old has then to run a household and will soon be expected to bear her husband’s children.
Even if a child is lucky enough to still attend school on a regular basis (as only 6% of today’s Syrian youth are) even there they can no longer be guaranteed safety as one in five schools have been obliterated throughout the conflict.
Children do not realise quite how much this war has scarred them as they have been slowly desensitised, seeing scenes even a grown man should not have to bear, to the point where they have seen so much that even seeing a friend blown apart by gunfire no longer seems so traumatic to them.
Thousands of children have died and many others would consider them the ‘lucky ones’ - countless others are imprisoned, beaten and tortured.
One patriotic teen, just thirteen years old, scrawled anti-regime graffiti on a wall soon after the outbreak two years ago. The boy was not seen again until weeks later, when his mutilated body, was delivered to his family.
This caused huge protests through the streets, thus causing more death and falling into an unending circle of hatred and bloodshed.
Some footage shows babies, not even a month old, torn apart by guns and air raids. Young boys are often used on the front lines as human shields. Both sides of the civil war have been accused of using child soldiers.
Similar to many cases around the Western world, we took great interest in the conflict for a couple of months before casting it off as old news, though it was most certainly not finished.
We sit in our safe houses and witness horrific spectacles on our flat screen TVs ,such as the war in Syria, and wrinkle our eyebrows in mild dismay whilst eating yet another meal that day, a luxury children of conflict do not have.
We so often get caught up in our own self-absorbed lives that we become ignorant to the real tragedies which occur throughout the world, problems that should disturb us to the point of tears.
WHAT DOES THE BUDGET MEAN FOR YOU?
The budget is an agreement that is made in the government every year that states how the countries money will be spent over the next 12 months.
Yesterday, George Osborne stated that “it didn’t look like we were going back into recession” and that he “was slowly but surely fixing the countries economic problems”. He continued by stating “if you want to work hard and get on; we are on your side.”
The Chancellor plans to cut some of the things the government spends money on to raise money for projects such as new roads in order to try and kick-start the economy.
He also declined a planned rise in petrol prices, and made sure money for schools and hospitals will be protected from budget cuts, and some parents will get help to pay for the cost of looking after their children.
The Key points of this budget are;
- 600,000 more jobs are expected this year at the same time as last year
- The planned rise in petrol prices have been scrapped
- Money for schools and the NHS will be protected from budget cuts
- £3 billion extra will be given to ne construction and transport projects in 2015 – 2016
- The cost of care for the elderly will be limited
- Parents wont have to pay as much tax on childcare from 2015
The opposition leader Ed Miliband said that “Mr. Osborne hadn’t changed since his government came into power”.
FOOD BANKS FACING CRISIS
Food poverty is becoming a growing issue across the globe. Even in Britain, food banks are a lifeline for those who cannot afford food, whether they are homeless, have large families or simply do not have enough money.
Food Banks are mostly run locally through churches, faith organisations, community groups and charities. Many people are at risk of malnourishment because they’ve cut back on fruit by 20% and vegetables by 12% because the costs are too high. It is estimated that 13 million people across the UK are living on the edge of poverty and may need help feeding their families through food banks. Over 90% of the food given out is donated by the public. Beans and soup are the most popular donations, but any canned foods or long life foods are welcome.
Figures recently released by the Trussel Trust, which runs 172 food banks and currently has 91 others under development in the UK, show that almost a third of the people referred for emergency help said that they needed help because there was a delay in accessing their benefits. Last month some of our senior pupils who are in our Global Student Forum group visited a newly set up pilot food bank run by the charity StartUp in Stirling. The pupils found out how the food bank was run, what kind of people needed help and what food they were given. Pupils were given the opportunity to pack some of these much needed food parcels. At BannockburnHighSchool, we plan on doing our part by bringing in non-perishable foods to help those in need in our community. See image below to view our pupils at Stirling’s food bank.
One of the main things that people have been talking about in Scotland is the all-important Scottish independence referendum. Today, Alex Salmond revealed that the referendum will take place on Thursday 18th September 2014. All Scots over the age 16 will be eligible to vote. The actual agreed referendum question was revealed in October 2012 and voters will be asked just one question: “Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country?
We asked pupils and staff about their thoughts on this crucial issue.