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UWI Develops Material to Improve Media and Information Literacy in Schools


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


This was disclosed by Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Minister, Hon. Olivia Grange, who said the undertaking is a collaboration involving the United Nations, Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), 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 further disclosed.


The Minister was speaking at the opening ceremony for the global media and information literacy conference at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston on October 25.


Ms. 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 the 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 existing digital age, persons should have the skills to critically analyse and use media and information.


“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 added.


Ms. Grange said, over time, consumers have become more active in terms of the media and information they receive.


This, she said, can be attributed to more access to information, more sources of information where mediated forms of communicated are the primary means of delivering information and knowledge, and where misinformation and fake news are unfortunate realities in today’s world.


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.


CAPTION: Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange (second left), shares pleasantries with (from left) President, International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, Gloria Pérez-Salmerón; Executive Director, Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica and Chairman for the Information Advisory Committee, Jamaica National Commission for UNESCO, Cordel Green; and Chair, International Conference on Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue, (MILID), Esther Hamburger, during the opening ceremony of the Global Media and Information Literacy conference at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston on October 25.