TV47 Head of Education Sharon Barang’a has won the “Early Childhood Global Reporting fellowship” by Columbia Journalism School’s Data Centre for Journalism and Trauma.
She is among 15 journalists from around the world – and the only one in Africa.
The fellowship involves undertaking 13 projects on the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on young children’s growth, development and wellbeing.
February to June
It is running from February until June this year. Journalists Karen Brown, Irene Caselli, Katharine Gammon, and CNN Investigates senior writer, Bob Ortega are the facilitators.
Nikolia Apostolou, freelance journalist from Greece, Joseph Ataman, UK documentary producer, Brazilian Carla Bittencourt and Colombian documentary photographer Nicolò Filippo Rosso are among the winners.
Sharon’s project will seek to highlight learning outcomes for early learners who continued with their lessons even in the face of coronavirus pandemic, versus those who could not continue with their classes.
“The global pandemic has exposed huge gaps in Kenya’s education sector,” says Sharon.
When schools were closed indefinitely after the first case of Covid-19 was announced in the country last March, learning stopped for a majority of learners from underprivileged communities. “But schooling continued smoothly for learners who could afford the apparatus needed for learning such as laptops and computers, and a steady supply of electricity, internet and radios/TVs,” notes Sharon.
Wealth of Experience
With over five years experience in active newsroom journalism, Sharon has reported on some of the most important stories about education in Kenya. Last month, her documentary Sunken Livelihoods (about flooding in Lake Baringo, and effects on schooling and livelihoods) won critical acclaim.
The Columbia fellowship is another feather in Sharon’s cap.
In 2018, she was selected to participate in the Mandela Washington Fellowship, a program funded by the U.S. Department of State, where she studied civic leadership.
The same year, Barang’a received a fellowship for early childhood reporting from the International Center for Journalists.
Barang’a holds a Master of Arts in translation from the University of Nairobi and a Bachelor of Arts in Social communication from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa.