Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Students, public to learn about media

March 16, 2010: To create awareness and ed­ucate people on the media, Ministry of Information and Communications (MoIC), in collaboration with the Min­istry of Education (MoE), has developed a curriculum framework for schools and programmes for the public.

The media literacy cur­riculum and teacher’s guide, which were developed in 2009 by MoIC, MoE, Royal University of Bhutan and oth­er relevant stakeholders after several rounds of consulta­tive meetings, will be imple­mented in five pilot schools this year.

Students of Khasarabchu MSS, Phuenstholing MSS, Yebilaptsa MSS, Mongar HSS and Trashigang MSS will be introduced to the new cur­riculum.

According to the Direc­tor of Department of Infor­mation and Media, Kinley T Wangchuk, the draft strategic curriculum framework was developed based on the best core skills and key concepts practised internationally for media literacy education.

The need for media litera­cy was felt due to the influx of foreign media content and rapid increase of media agen­cies in the country.

“At present, many people are not aware of the media, and there is a need for all rel­evant stakeholders to play a vital role in creating aware­ness of the media in Bhutan,” said Tshering Dendup, assis­tant media officer of DoIM.

Recognising the need to create media awareness among the public, various awareness programmes will be developed in the next few years for literate and illiter­ate people, youth, and special need groups, said Tshering Dendup.

He added that the media literacy programmes will en­able students and public to understand the media and prepare them for life in an information-based society.

The media literacy curricu­lum for schools aims to pre­pare students to be capable and skillful consumers of and contributors to the media as responsible citizens.

According to Wangchuk Rabten, curriculum special­ist of Curriculum and Profes­sional Support Division, me­dia literacy will instill skills to enable media audiences to access, critically analyze, evaluate and participate in producing media products for self-expression.

He said that the concept of media literacy or media lit­eracy education is not only to help the society understand and eliminate negative im­pacts of media messages and images but also to appreciate the role the media play in dis­seminating information and making choices in healthy consumption of the media content.

The programme will also help identify various media sources, critically analyse and reflect on different media texts, understand the tech­niques and technologies used in the media, the way the media operate, acquire skills using the media to communi­cate with others, interpret the messages and values offered by the media, and select ap­propriate media for commu­nicating their messages based on political, social, commer­cial and cultural contexts.

For the public, MoIC will develop a website which will enhance the ability of view­ers and readers to make wise choice on the consumption of media products. It will en­able the public to acquire es­sential skills of enquiry and critical analysis of media products. Audio visual pro­grammes, literacy activities, and public message through cultural programmes, posters and banners, rallies and plays will also be staged to create awareness.

By Namgay Tshering in Bhutan Observer

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