Abuja, April 9, 2019 The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has developed a global Media and Information Literacy (MIL) Curriculum for teachers.
The curriculum is aimed at addressing the challenges of hate speech, fake news and online radicalism for the school systems.
Mr Macaulay Olushola, the National Professional Officer for Information and Communication of the organisation disclosed this on Tuesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.
The Programme officer said that the MIL intervention strategy, among other interventions, were part of UNESCO-Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) project.
He said that Nigeria being was a beneficiary of the project which focused on fostering peace, sustainable development and democracy.
Olushola explained that the world had become a technologically driven society, hence the need for citizens to acquire competencies needed to engage new media and technologies for the good of humanity.
According to him,MIL is necessary for positive narrative due to both positive and negative influences of the social media on users.
Olushola also said that most people lacked the knowledge of finding information, analysing and making decisions, based on information available on media platforms.
“Under the framework of knowledge society, UNESCO developed the Media and Information Literacy curriculum, a veritable tool in addressing globally, hate speech, fake news and online radicalism assuming an alarming dimension in the society.
“The curriculum and policy guidelines are to encourage national and institutional actions, including legislations and adaptation of Media and Information Literacy (MIL) into school systems, “ he said.
He said the significance of this intervention could not be overemphasised in a society like Nigeria.
According to him, in Nigeria, the enormous effect of inappropriate use of media platforms has set the nation on the path of ethnic, gender and religious divides.
He further said the curriculum was expected to be adopted and implemented by academics, stakeholders, students from universities, monotechnics, polytechnics, civil society organisations and Non-Governmental Organisations.
He said UNESCO was in talks with some tertiary institutions across the country on the need for them to study and adapt contents of the MIL curriculum into their existing ones.
Olushola, however, called on the institutions concerned to conduct a pilot test of the curriculum, stressing the need to incorporate it as a stand-alone or elective module.
According to him, curbing fake news and hate speech is vital to the development of the society, hence the need to adopt a multi-component integration of the curriculum in formal and non-formal system in the country.
“MIL clubs can be established in schools to curtail spread of hate speech and fake news.”
NAN reports that the curriculum was designed with seven competencies, covering 11 modules while the pilot test in the country is expected to focus on Competency Two and Four.
Competency Two focuses on `Understanding the News, Media and Ethics’ and Competency while four is on `Critically Evaluating Information and the Sources.”