PROGRAMMES: Malaysia school shortlisted for awards
EVERYONE knows free-range chicken tastes better than battery-farmed ones.
And then there is the impact of modern chicken farms on the environment and the ethics of rearing animals in cramped conditions.
Last year, students from Sekolah Dato' Abdul Razak Seremban, Negri Sembilan voiced their concerns about these effects in a video titled The Factory Chicken. The documentary investigates the welfare of battery-farmed chicken, showing how the modern way of rearing results in clogged and smelly drains swarmed with flies.
It is a warning to consumers that they may be paying a cheap price for chicken but their descendants will suffer the negative effects of battery farms.
The video was the result of a hands-on Kid Witness News (KWN) programme which Panasonic Corporation operates as part of its efforts to support education of future generations.
The school has been selected as one of six finalists representing six countries for KWN 2012 Global Contest to be held in London next month to award winners for their films produced in the 2011 programme.
Wan Muhamad Taufik Wan Yusoff, the teacher in charge of project at Sekolah Dato' Abdul Razak, Seremban, says: "The students had to overcome their disappointment at not winning the KWN National contest in 2010. Last year, they emerged as champion and represented Malaysia in the regional competition." Wan Muhamad Taufik adds that students should be encouraged to explore issues on environment and society. "This initiative allows the generation of ideas -- for not only students but also teachers."
Film director Anas Ab Aziz, 17, says: "The programme is a platform to voice our opinions."
Although his teammate Zubair Ab Aziz, 16, struggled with a lack of light and getting the right angle inside the farm, he was left with the "enthusiastic feeling of making a film".
Film narrator Izet Aqim Zamri, 17, is pleased he has a literal voice in making known his views. "Making the video has exposed me to new technology and equipment," says Izet.
For scriptwriter Abdurrazzaq Hazrin Fazail, 16, the course marries an extra-curricular activity with writing, which is his passion. "Writing the script brought me closer to nature. The video acts as a form of media awareness to society."
This year's six finalist videos can be viewed on the KWN global website (http://panasonic.net/kwn/contest2012).