The National Youth Council (NYC) in partnership with Unesco and Namibia National Commission for Unesco (NatCom) with support from the Japanese government will launch the Media and Information Literacy (MIL) for Youth Civic Engagement in Namibia.
The project aims to engage youth-led organisations and youth, in general, to take part in MIL workshops, webinars, and online training to navigate the digitalised information ecosystem. It will officially be launched in July.
Speaking to Youth Corner, NYC head of corporate communication and marketing, Brian Prince, said the vision of the project is to enable youth to make informed decisions, become actively involved in wide-ranging societal affairs, and be change makers in their professional fields.
“The new project is a lifelong learning tool for youth to assess and verify messages, fed and received on social media platforms and the internet,” said Unesco information officer, Yang Wang.
According to Wang, the project enables participants to be aware of content providers’ business model, political, commercial, and societal agendas, and to interpret and disseminate reliable information by an agency of their own informed choice.
“Seeking, interacting, and sharing information online also implies privacy issues, which is closely associated with transparency of internet companies regarding the collection of data and algorithm; education on digital citizenship is thus another vital component of media and information literacy,” she added.
Under the project framework, the Unesco Windhoek office, NYC, and its partners will organise workshops with youth-led organisations to enhance their MIL capacities and eventually contribute towards recommendation guidelines for the integration of MIL in the youth organisation’s daily operations.
“At the individual level, online training and webinars on Unesco’s MILCLICKS initiative and MIL-related topics, like tackling online hate speech and disinformation, are open to every Namibian youth aged 16-35 years old,” noted Wang.
The development of MILCLICKS micro-learning infographics and videos is anticipated from the participating youth, with the guidance of trainers to ensure active engagement.
Youth organisations wishing to attend the workshop are advised to fill in an online survey, and young individuals interested in online training and webinars can fill in the registration form found on the Unesco and NYC’s website.
Registration closes on 11 June, and participants are encouraged to sign up for MIL MOOC course as complementary learning materials, and will receive an online certificate once they have completed the course.