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Media Literacy

UNESCO media literacy week to educate on virtual life – FG


By Roti Ijikanmi

The Federal Government says the UNESCO Global Media and Information Literacy Week holding in Abuja will help to equip participants on rules, regulating information dissemination and virtual life.

The Minister of Information and Culture,Alhaji Lai Mohammed, stated this on Friday when he featured alongside UNESCO officials on Nigeria Television Authority program “Good Morning Nigeria”.The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports Nigeria is hosting the 11th UNESCO Global Media and Information Literacy Week at the nation’s capital from Oct. 24 to 31,193 UNESCO member countries are expected to participate physically and virtually in the event with the theme “Nurturing Trust: A Media and Information Literacy Imperative”.

The minister said that participants at the event would be exposed to dangers inherent in generating, posting, circulating and consuming fake news and unwholesome contents. Mohammed said, “participants will be equipped with the competence and ability to analyze any news, whether it is from the radio, television online or even in graphics,” Do not get on the internet and forget that other people also have obligations.”You do not go online or develop and post a message which is so poisonous and can cause a war or interracial conflict.”When you access information, you must spend some time to be able to know what is harmful and how do you counter the harmful part of it.”

The minister said that Nigeria was given the hosting right for the global event in recognition of her contribution to the media and information literacy activities and projects, globally.”If you go by the figures, Nigeria ranks highest in the number of Internet users in Africa , not only in number, but in terms of competency and resourcefulness,” he added. On the programs lined up for the event, the minister said it would feature an inter-cultural conference, a youth agenda forum as well as a hackathon for the youths.According to the minister, ”the hackathon will be social coding that will teach the youths how they can build messages and respond to them.”Mohammed assured that President Muhammadu Buhari would grace the occasion as Special Guest.Mr Aston Grizzie, from the UNESCO headquarters in Paris said the week would be used to educate participants on the rules, the dos and don’ts of using the internet to disseminate information. He said people should be able to critically analyze and verify the source of the information that comes their way and how to apply it to their daily lives.”Just as we are concerned about the air we breathe, the food and water we take and ensure that they are unpolluted, healthy and will not hurt us, we should be concerned about the information we consume.”This is the reason behind the week. We want the people in the world to know that the way they think, act Is influenced by the information they consume,” he said. Speaking in the same vein, Secretary General, Nigeria National Commission for UNESCO Mr Idowu Olagunju, said the week was in line with the mandate of UNESCO in building peace through the control of dissemination of harmful information. (NAN)


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