Palace focusing on info literacy

The government is set to work with the public school sector to help address the challenges associated with integrating media and information literacy into basic and secondary education curricula, a Palace communications official said.

During the 67th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York last Friday, Communications Undersecretary Cherbett Karen Maralit announced that the Presidential Communications Office’s digital media literacy campaign will be launched this year.

Maralit added that Congress has already introduced laws related to media literacy.

The initiatives are aimed at formalizing the Department of Education’s efforts to make Media and Information Literacy a key subject in the existing primary and secondary curriculum.

Maralit acknowledged that incorporating MIL into the basic education curriculum had certain difficulties.

These include the need to consider MIL as a core subject by tertiary education institutions or TEIs, the lack of training for MIL teachers, and the misconception about the MIL course as an educational technology-related subject.

“The PCO shall work with the public (education) sector to help address these challenges,” Maralit said.

“We need the help of MIL experts, specialists, and established organizations to lend their strengths and help us in achieving the kind of Filipino society we wish to see where all are free to realize their best,” she added.

Discerning truth

The digital media literacy program will provide the most vulnerable populations with the information and resources they need “to be discerning of the truth,” Maralit said.

In the same event in New York, Maralit said that Congress asked the PCO to address the growing concern about misinformation and disinformation, particularly in the context of the digital environment.

“Backed by the budgetary support from the Philippine Congress and its confidence in the leadership of the PCO, we took the opportunity to develop mechanisms through which we can bring the online experiences of females of all ages into focus,” she said.

Maralit added that the PCO upholds women’s rights as they continue “to be undermined by disinformation and misinformation.”

“The PCO, therefore, is positioning itself as a pillar that upholds the rights and welfare of women and girls through a Digital Media Literacy Campaign that will focus on our most vulnerable communities,” she said.

“Taking a context-based and factual grassroots approach, we intend to reach out to, and equip, these communities with knowledge and skills and tools that will enable them to be discerning of the truth as they engage in various social media channels and platforms,” she added.

Maralit said that the two-fold approach includes the PCO actively working with the private sector, especially key players in the television sector, to build efficient measures against fake news.

Also, the PCO will direct the public to a position of strength where they can comprehend and spot incorrect, erroneous, or incomplete information.

“We will work to improve the citizenry’s ability to think critically and analyze information,” Maralit said.

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