Career & Education

Student teachers to learn media, information literacy

Sunday, October 29, 2017

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The University of the West Indies (UWI) has developed material designed to assist in improving media and information literacy in primary and secondary schools across the island.

This was disclosed by Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Minister Olivia Grange, who said the undertaking is a collaboration involving the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the Broadcasting Commission, and the Joint Board of Teacher Education.

“I am pleased to learn that an outcome of this collaboration is that media literacy will be embedded into the curriculum of local teacher-training colleges,” she said.

She, however, did not disclose details about when the programme will take effect or how it will be structured.

The Minister was speaking at the opening ceremony for the global media and information literacy conference at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston last Wednesday.

Grange said it is essential that Jamaicans be able to deconstruct media products in order to evaluate their contents; assign social, cultural and/or economic value to said content; and leverage information and communication tools in their development goals.

“In short, our aim must be to develop the critical thinking skills of our citizens, especially our young citizens, whose upbringing and socialising are influenced by the media,” she said.

The minister contended that in the digital age, people should have the skills to critically analyse and use media and information. Developing that literacy is particularly important too, Grange noted, because of the emergence of social media and the increase in access to and sources of information, as well as the rise of misinformation and fake news, which she described as unfortunate realities.

“Concerns about the impact of media on society, particularly on young people, have resonated for as long as traditional media have existed. But things have to change dramatically,” she argued.

Activities marking Global Media and Information Literacy Week 2017 are being held under the theme 'Media and Information Literacy in Critical Times: Reimagining Ways of Learning and Information Environments'.

The week runs from October 25 to November 1.

— JIS

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