Amman, 6 March 2017 – Under the framework of the EU-funded and UNESCO Amman Office implemented “Support to Media in Jordan” project, today several high-level representatives visited a public school in Amman to learn about the after-school program of “Media and Information Literacy (MIL) Clubs” organised by UNESCO Amman Office, Jordan Media Institute (JMI) and Jordan Education Initiative (JEI).
HE Dr Omar Razzaz, Minister of Education, and Mr Andrea M Fontana, EU Ambassador to Jordan were joined by UNESCO, JMI and JEI staff, the Principal of the Bent Adi comprehensive high school for girls, and public teachers and students for an overview of the MIL Clubs, the achievements of the students, and the importance of this topic in the given context in Jordan.
MIL is a key component of the larger “Support to Media in Jordan” project, with a specific outcome dedicated to the increased understanding and application of the concept of MIL in Jordan. UNESCO has partnered with JMI, who has engaged in three main areas, mainly providing policy advice to key educational policy makers to further develop MIL in Jordan; supporting teacher training colleges to include MIL in their curriculum; and supporting the Ministry of Education to introduce MIL for grades 7-9 through the creation of pilot MIL clubs.
The partnership has relied on the expertise of the JEI, established under the good auspices of Her Majesty Queen Rania. In late 2016, as the first step to start the pilot MIL Clubs, JMI and JEI trained a minimum of three teachers in each of the eight schools around Amman. Since then, the MIL clubs have been regularly operating once a week, providing the necessary skills to ethically consume and produce media content. More specifically, the clubs focus on digital media literacy, visual media creation, authenticity of news, ethical reporting, and online privacy and security, among other topics.
Media and Information Literacy recognizes the primary role of information and media in our everyday lives. It lies at the core of freedom of expression and information, since it empowers citizens to fully understand the functions of media and other information providers, to critically evaluate their content, and to make informed decisions as users and producers of information and media content.
“We are delighted to offer an opportunity to very senior personalities to witness firsthand the concrete results of this initiative and to realize its impact,” said Ms. Costanza Farina, UNESCO Representative to Jordan. “With young generations spending approximately 6 hours a day on social media, MIL can empower them in free self-expression, critical thinking, creativity, and innovation, and can provide tools to alert youth against issues such as hate speech, extremism and violence,” she added.
JMI Dean Dr Basim Tweissi said the project is a major opportunity for Jordan to build on and to develop a national vision for MIL that is supported by political will and translated into strategic policies and plans.
For more than 40 years, UNESCO has been a leader in establishing and promoting the concept of MIL around the world. Empowerment of citizens through MIL is an important prerequisite for fostering equitable access to information and to knowledge and for promoting free, independent and pluralistic media and information systems.
In the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, specifically SDG goal 16.10, MIL connects freedom of expression and freedom of information to wider themes such as cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue, gender equality, and sustainable development.
Since 2014, UNESCO Amman Office has been implementing the “Support to Media in Jordan”, in close collaboration with the Ministry of State for Media Affairs and the media community in Jordan. The project aims to support Jordan’s efforts in advancing the media to further increase its freedom, independence and professionalism. For more information, please visit www.stmjo.com/en.