Within the framework of the EU-funded project Building Trust in Media in South East Europe and Turkey – Phase 2, UNESCO and its lead local project partners, the Albanian Media Institute (AMI) and the Faculty of Political Sciences University of Sarajevo have taken first steps to pilot Media and Information Literacy (MIL) in formal education in both countries. The project aims to enhance youth MIL skills through introduction of MIL in formal educational system in the region.
“The Covid-19 pandemic crisis has highlighted that there is an urgent need to reinforce the critical thinking of citizens in the region to address the rapid spread of related misinformation and disinformation in relation to the virus. The inclusion of MIL in school curricula of primary and secondary schools of the region is an efficient way to address that challenge” said Siniša Šešum, Head of the Sarajevo Project Office of the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe.
“In order to map and engage with all relevant MIL stakeholders and key actors involved in Albania in the field of education, we have started updating the national MIL Strategy and the Position Paper of the country, which was outdated. In this process, we reach out to the Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth, the Agency for Quality Assurance in Pre-University Education, the Parliamentary Commission on Education and Media, the Audiovisual Media Authority, as well as main media organizations”, said Remzi Lani, Head of the Albanian Media Institute.
During the first consultation held in June 2020 with the Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth and the Agency for Quality Assurance in Pre-University Education (ASCAP), a joint work calendar for the piloting of MIL in schools has been drafted while the procedures for selecting the schools, where the curricula will be piloted were discussed.
n Bosnia and Herzegovina, consultations took place on 6 July 2020 with the Minister of Education, Science and Youth of Sarajevo Canton, Anis Krivić, and his team. Continuous cooperation and preparation of the integration of MIL in the educational system in the Sarajevo Canton has been agreed. “We have an agreement with the Minister of Education in Sarajevo that MIL needs to be integrated in formal education, not just as an extra-curricular topic, but rather as a core subject in primary and secondary schools in BiH – because MIL is one of the key competencies in this century,” said Emir Vajzović, Project Leader from the Faculty of Political Sciences University of Sarajevo.
In parallel, the drafting of the pilot MIL curricula for primary and secondary schools in Albania is well under way. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, an expert and stakeholder workshop on MIL integration in educational systems is foreseen in September 2020 and will involve Ministers of education, representatives of pedagogical and educational institutes, directors, teachers, librarians from primary and secondary schools and representatives of teachers’ training colleges.
UNESCO and the European Union, DG Near, launched the second phase of the project Building Trust in Media in South East Europe and Turkey in November 2019. In consideration of the clear decline in the civil society’s trust in media in the region and the recommendations from the European Union in combating disinformation online, the three years project aims to, among others, enhance MIL skills among youth by introducing MIL components in formal and non-formal education systems, training education staff, building MIL capacities of youth organisations.