Their answers were intelligent, and surprising.
In part two of our four-week long Young Voices series 82 pupils were asked where they would raise their children one day. Nearly all of the pupils who live in Cape Town said they would raise their children in South Africa whereas about 30% of the Johannesburg pupils said they would raise their children outside of Africa.
Zain Noridien from Pelican Park Primary in Cape Town said: “I would raise my children here in South Africa … and if they get a good education they can make our economy grow”.
Elizabeth Jackson from Troyeville Primary disagreed. “I would not raise my children in South Africa because foreigners have to go to home affairs … many children get detained for papers they don’t have. I do not want my children to face the same troubles that I have face [sic] as a young child,” she said.
Watch the video here:
Only 2% of the pupils would vote for our current president, 4% would vote for Nelson Mandela but many would vote for DA leader Helen Zille because she is a "strong woman".
Watch last week’s story here:
The interviews were part of a project called the Children and Media Championing Best Practice, funded by the European Commission, aimed at improving the portrayal and participation of children in mainstream media.
Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) gave children who are part of the project the skills to engage with the news, analyse media content, and become what they themselves labelled 'media monitors'.
By the end of last year MMA realised that the strong opinions these children were expressing about the news had to be shared, so it asked them some questions and filmed their responses.
The monitors attend Park Senior Primary School, Naturena Primary School and Troyeville Primary School in Johannesburg, and Pelican Park Primary School in Cape Town. They are mostly female.
Research carried out by MMA shows that children account for only 9% of all news stories, showing that their voices are generally excluded from media.
Yet children are capable of understanding what is happening in the world of politics, sports, entertainment, health, and education, and can effectively voice their opinions if given the chance, MMA says.
MMA's director, William Bird, said MMA has been working with children for ten years and has seen how they are capable of understanding what is happening in the world around them.
"Far too often children and their voices are excluded not only from national debates, but all too frequently on issues that immediately affect them," he said.
"The numerous challenges facing South Africa's education system are well known, but often children's voices on how these problems affect them are not heard".
"While children are clearly the future they are also the here and the now and should be given as much of a chance to voice their opinions as adults are."
The Mail & Guardian will publish one of the videos filmed by MMA each week as part of a four-week long Young Voices series.