Media literacy

Media Literacy for Educators | The star

A GROUP of Malaysian media educators and professionals have worked together to design the country’s first media literacy curriculum.

The partnership is made possible by the establishment of a national movement called Media Education For All (ME4A) with 15 educators as founding members.

Together with media professionals, the founders seek to design a program tailored to Malaysia’s local context and needs, ME4A said in a March 11 press release.

Over the past two months, educators have received training on a wide range of topics related to media literacy, including its role in raising awareness about democracy, prejudice, information disorders and verification of information. They were also shown how to incorporate these concepts into their lessons.

Dr. Aini Marina Ma’arof, a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Educational Studies, Putra University Malaysia, said the comprehensive hands-on training served as an instrumental grassroots effort to launch the initiative nationwide.

“Currently, there is no standardized national curriculum or school guidance in Malaysia on media literacy, nor dedicated funding to support teachers’ professional development in this area,” she said.

English teacher Hazwan Hamdan of SABK Maahad Ehyak Diniah Islamiah in Batu Gajah, Perak, said the series of workshops had equipped him with the skills to create safe media use.

“All this time, we have relied on others to expose the truths or lies presented in the media. Now I can start my own investigation of the news I read, like doing a reverse image search to find out its origin,” he said.

SJKC Kuen Cheng 1, Kuala Lumpur, teacher Jessica Ch’ng is involved in developing a module on verifying information with the other co-founders.

“What excites me about working on this program is that it will help educators and students have important conversations about how they consume and create media. Everyone should be aware that media literacy is a right, not a privilege,” she said.

ME4A Media Mentor Darshini Kandasamy, who is a co-founder of Malaysia Information Literacy Education, said the program is crucial because educators will be better prepared to help young people of different age groups process information, to discern for themselves what is true and false and to become more responsible. citizens, both in the physical and digital spheres.

The ME4A movement is led by the social education enterprise Arus Academy, in partnership with the impact and investigative journalism collective The Fourth.

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