African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL), Nigeria’s premier Media & Information Literacy (MIL) organization, in partnership with UNESCO, has concluded a two-week online training for educators and schools in the UNESCO Associated Schools Network (ASPnet).
The online pilot training which was held between February 28 and March 9 involved over fifty
educators, administrators, and officials of the National Commissions for UNESCO (NATCOMs) in eight countries: Nigeria, Kenya, Algeria, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Ecuador, Trinidad & Tobago, and Canada.
The coordinator of AFRICMIL, Dr. Chido Onumah, in a press release made available to Vanguard, said the aim of the training was to pilot the adaptation of the Second Edition of the UNESCO MIL Curriculum: Media & Information Literate Citizens – Think Critically, Click Wisely: Media & Information Curriculum for Educators & Learners.
The press release partly reads, “The project will not only help to incorporate MIL in the curriculum of the participating schools but will also empower teachers to become media and information literate and have the competencies necessary in integrating MIL at all levels, including other forms of social literacy.”
The facilitators at the training were Dr Suraj Olunifesi, Associate Professor at the Dept of Mass communication, University of Lags, Dr. Sharon Omotoso, Associate Professor and Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan, and Dr Chido Onumah, Coordinator of AFRICMIL.
Media & Information literacy experts from around the world also joined the workshop to share their experiences. They included Dr Ifedolapo Ademosu of Caleb University, Lagos, Nigeria; Prof. Tomas Duran, National Research Director at CUN University in Colombia;
Wallace Gichunge, Founder and Executive Director, Centre for Media and Information Literacy – Nairobi, Kenya, and outgoing Africa Region Rep, UNESCO MIL Alliance; Ramon Guillermo R. Tuazon of the UNESCO Myanmar Office; and Dr. Estrella Luna Muñoz, Media, Arts and ICT Project Manager and Trainer, Instituto de educação, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal.
According to Onumah, the project started with a baseline survey on the involvement of schools, especially ASPnet member institutions in media and information literacy education.
He noted that one of the project’s significant outcomes is the development of a Guidebook for educators which provides a framework for UNESCO-ASPnet member institutions and educators on how to adapt and implement the new UNESCO Media and Information Literacy (MIL) Curriculum: Media and Information Literate Citizens: Think Critically, Click Wisely (Second Edition of the UNESCO Model Media and Information Literacy
Curriculum for Educators and Learners.
The AFRICMIL Coordinator said the Guidebook is designed to produce MIL-literate citizens and to help train educators from the participating schools as well as other schools around the world.
According to him, the Guidebook is structured into Four Parts: Core Content of MIL and Pedagogy, Curriculum Adaptation Process, Implementation and Documentation of Experience, Managing Change and Planning for Scale-up (Evaluation and Scaling).
He stated, “There are also sample learning activities for educators to engage with learners during the Curriculum adaptation process and implementation stages. The training availed the educators and learners an opportunity to share their learning experiences and reflect with co-educators/learners to stimulate and encourage engagement.
“It is expected that the pilot training which will be scaled up by UNESCO to cover other countries around the world will not only help educators to adapt and introduce the MIL curriculum in schools;
“…but also contribute to increased education and training on MIL to tackle fake news, hate speech, and mis/disinformation, and promote media awareness, inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue through several actions and activities,” Onumah added.
Founded in 1953, the UNESCO Associated Schools Network (ASPnet) is a worldwide network, bringing together more than 9900 educational institutions across 180 countries. The Network comprises pre-schools, primary, secondary, technical, and vocational schools, as well as teacher training institutions.