M’sian media literacy advocate bags Unesco prize

TECHCAMP Malaysia-Philippines “Teaching Media and Information Literacy (MIL) Skills in Everyday Life”, an alumni project by MIL for Asean Network advocates and educators from Malaysia, has been awarded second place in the Unesco Global MIL Awards 2022.

Aimed at training secondary school teachers and teacher educators to recognise false information found online and integrate MIL into classrooms, the project was funded by the US Department of State, the US Embassy Kuala Lumpur, and Penang Institute.

During the three-day TechCamp, participants were taught ways to deconstruct media and information sources through fact-checking and verification.

Speakers also shared some best practices on Internet safety, data privacy and data protection.

Its co-founder Wong Lai Cheng said the Global MIL Award is a recognition of MIL for Asean Network’s commitment to support communities and individuals across the region to acquire MIL competencies.

“One defence against disinformation is to ensure that our citizens have MIL competencies.

“The education of our future generation must be geared towards providing them with skills and competencies that will empower them to be media and information literate; to critically evaluate information before using or sharing it.

“I hope this award opens up more opportunities for collaboration with national and regional education institutions, policymakers and media practitioners, to equip teachers and educators with MIL competencies,” she said in a press release.

Wong said the urgency of imparting MIL competencies in the classroom is crucial with the spread of political misinformation and online hate towards people of colour and immigrants globally.

The Global MIL Awards recognise excellence and leadership in education, research, policy, advocacy, media and communication/information industries.

The Global MIL Awards are presented every year at the Unesco Global MIL Week Feature Conference.

Six winners were honoured by the world body in April.

The Spain-based Alfamed Network (Euro-American Inter-university Network for Research in Media Literacy for Citizenship) and the United Kingdom-based The Economist Educational Foundation were named champions, with MIL for Asean Network and Chrysoula Lazou from Greece coming in second.

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