By Elizabeth Uwandu
THE need to separate facts from fiction, have a media development content and create a literate society formed the focus of the first UNESCO National Workshop on Media and Information Literacy, MIL Curriculum Intervention in Nigerian Universities., hosted by Lagos State University, LASU, Ojo
The two-day workshop themed, “Enhancing intercultural dialogue competencies through media and information literacy curriculum in Nigerian universities”, put together by UNESCO and University Twinning Networking, UNITWIN encouraged participants from universities to come up with a draft of MIL curriculum in Nigeria.
Dr. Suraj O Adekunle, UNESCO UNITWIN National Coordinator and Sub-Dean, School Communication, Lagos State University, in his opening remarks said the need to enhance competencies in receiving and making sense of information necessitated the theme of the workshop.
His words, “In increasingly complex multicultural societies, education must enable us to acquire the intercultural competencies that will permit us to live together with – and not despite – our cultural differences. We need MIL in our curriculum among other things; to enhance education outcomes by equipping citizens with competencies necessary to participate fully in political, economic, and social life. ”
And form policies and strategies that enable people to create their own counterbalance to dominant cultures by sharing their stories through discussion and creative engagement.” added Dr Adekumle.
Speaker guest at the two days workshop, Prof Iyiola Oni (Ph.D)Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Lagos in his lecture said for society to develop, it has to have and make use of meaningful information. “Our survival as an institution or nation depends largely on how we make use of this information for strategic communication which is a basis for our collective development. There is urgent need for an education that addresses information and media literacy skills gap. Without any iota of doubt, we believe media and information literacy skill will help African society overcome most, if not all the challenges relating with how to source, find, choose, collect, verify, visualize, present and analyze information for strategic communication for developmental agenda. This is the calling of today’s information society and we see it as the basic requirement of our contemporary knowledge society.”
Prof. Oni called on stakeholders in the education sector to draft a curriculum that will educate the masses on the opportunities of media and information literacy.” This workshop will be a worthwhile event by producing a curriculum draft of Media and Information Literacy which is needed intervention for today’s media and information literate knowledge society. “
Justifying the need for MIL inclusion into Nigerian curriculum, Macaulay Olushola, National Professional Officer, Communication and Information, UNESCO, Abuja observed that the youths quest for knowledge has gone beyond reading and writing skills, but they needed a necessary tool that will enable them comprehend the deluge of information. His words, “ While the importance of these fundamental numeracy and literacy skills can not be underestimated, the inclusion of media and information literacy means that young people must also understand the functions of the media and other information providers, and seek ,evaluate, use and create to achieve their personal, social , occupational and educational goals.” opined Olushola.
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