Tomorrow September 6, 2018, the Junior Graphic newspaper will be 18 years since it was re-introduced by the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) to serve as a mouthpiece for Ghanaian children, the Editor of the Junior Graphic, Mrs Mavis Kitcher, has said.
She said the paper for the past 18 years had succeeded in touching the lives of children in various ways - academically, socially, morally and emotionally.
What has been unique about the paper, she added, was the fact that most of the columns were written by children, therefore, children regularly had an avenue to make their voices heard on issues they felt strongly about to help shape the society.
In view of that, every Wednesday when the paper hits the newsstands, schoolchildren clamour for it to read and regularly react to stories and articles published.
She stated that readers also had the opportunity to display their creative skills by writing poems, jokes, riddles, short stories and drawing.
In an interview with some past readers of the paper, Mr Mark Kwayie, a National Service Person of the GCGL he said he started reading the paper when he was in basic school at Sefwi Bekwai.
Although his school had not yet subscribed for the paper, he saved money to purchase the Junior Graphic from a vendor close to his school and according to him, the cartoons in the paper were his favourite.
“I loved drawing so after reading the cartoons, I tried to draw them . Later, when I was in secondary school and in the university, I continued to purchase the paper because the course I studied demanded that I studied newspaper layouts.”
Mr Kwayie said he was happy and proud when years later after his studies, he was fortunate to work with the GCGL and had the opportunity to design the Junior Graphic newspaper.
“You can imagine my joy,” he said very elated.
For his part, Mr Bright Kyere, a Graphic Designer and Animator said, he started reading the paper in primary school at Miracle Preparatory and JHS, Sunyani, when the school made it compulsory for every child to buy the paper.
“Our headmaster would walk into any class at anytime to ask questions about what we had read in the Junior Graphic. That was when I started reading almost every page of the paper. Words from the short stories were also used during our dictation lessons and that really helped me to build my vocabulary and improve on my reading, writing and spelling.”
“The Junior Graphic is a very good educational material and I will entreat all students at the basic level to read it always; and by the time they complete basic school, they would have built a good foundation for themselves,” he advised.
Ms Ama Atta Ghansah, a banker and a past reader of the Junior Graphic congratulated the paper for the milestone it had reached and its consistency in providing the Ghanaian youth with educative, informative and entertaining stories.
On how the newspaper helped her, she said, reading it throughout the nine years of her basic education helped her improve on her reading skills as well as learn new words.
She added that the regular news update from the News-in-Bits and Around the World columns helped her to know what was happening in other parts of the world and in the country.
“I felt very proud and confident whenever I talked about current affairs and other related social issues because of the information I gathered from reading the paper. Thank you, Junior Graphic. My greatest appreciation goes to the management and staff of the GCGL and everyone involved in the successful production of the newspaper. I say ‘ayekoo’ to the team members,” she said.
Mr Francis Grant Mensah, a teacher described the Junior Graphic as the most child-friendly and educative newspaper in the country which had over the years offered children the opportunity to express themselves and be part of the society.
He, however, appealed that the publication of the BECE questions and answers should be given additional pages.
Mr Mensah said a column should also be created for the children to learn more about the history of the country, the various currencies of the world, countries and their capitals, educational policies and more of the child-friendly games.
“There should also be a platform to promote our local languages. Astute professionals should also be engaged to offer advise on health and education, studying techniques and ways of family upbringing,” he advised.
When the paper was reintroduced on September 6, 2000, it had columns such as Time for Serious Talk, Teen Chat, Auntie Betty, Debate, Pen Pals, Rack your brain, Short Story and poems and I’ll Tell My Story and later, Fan Clubs were inaugurated in over 100 schools across the country.
This has enabled the Junior Graphic to build a strong relationship with children, particularly those in basic schools and also in senior high schools.