By Joseph Varghese/Staff Reporter
Qatar will develop a curriculum in Media and Information Literacy (MIL) for the schools in the country soon, said an official from Supreme Education Council (SEC) yesterday.
Asmaa al-Mohannadi, Education Institute head, Higher Education Council, SEC, was speaking at a press conference on the concluding day of the experts meeting in MIL from the Arab countries organised by Doha Centre for Media Freedom (DCMF) at Concorde Hotel.
Al-Mohannadi said that Qatar was keen to developing education on all fronts and MIL is a focus for SEC. She said: “We are planning to form a curriculum for schools in Qatar that will focus on various aspects of media information literacy. We are planning to incorporate MIL in the core curriculum very soon.” She added that the relevant materials will be prepared soon and presented to the authorities concerned for review and approval.
As for the implementation of the curriculum, al-Mohannadi said that SEC planned to form the curriculum for all the grades right from the lower classes to the higher grades.
She said: “For the students in the lower classes there could be some small activities and theoretical aspects can be taught in the higher classes. Many key aspects such as traffic etiquette could be part of the curriculum.”
Jan Keulen, director DCMF, said that a lot of workshops and activities were conducted in Qatari schools for media information literacy. He said: “So far we have conducted the activities in 45 schools in Qatar. Teachers and students were engaged in various activities in promoting media information literacy.”
He also said that the activities conducted by DCMF were just pilot activities and not the real objectives of DCMF. “DCMF, with other international organisations has developed a media literacy curriculum,” he added.
Project manager for MIL Programmes at the United National Alliance of Civilisations (UNAOC), Jordi Torrent said that Qatar is in the forefront of media literacy information in the region. He explained “It was heartening to observe all the work and support that SEC is giving for media information literacy. We will help in the implementation of the school curriculum in the country.”
He added that Unesco has developed a curriculum in Arabic which could be used as a guideline.