Media Education Conference Launched
The Media Education Conference, organized by the
Ministry of Education from 17-18 May was launched at the Teacher Training
Institute in Ajman in the presence of H.E. Eng. Abdulrahman Al Hammadi,
Under-Secretary of Ministry of Education for Control and Support Services,
Sheikha Khulood Saqer Al Qassimi, Assistant Under-Secretary of Ministry of
Education for Inspection Sector and various academics and journalists from the
UAE and abroad with the participation of the ministry’s employees, teachers and
The conference, in its first day, hosted Dr. Habib Al
Sayegh, chairman of the UAE Writers Association, Mr. Mohammed Al-Hammadi the
Editor-in-Chief of Al Ittihad newspaper, Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Al Dabal, General
Coordinator of the Khalifa Student Empowerment Program, and Dr. Mohamed
Al-Kuwaiti, Executive Director of the National Electronic Security Authority,
Dr. Najla Al Omary, an adviser at the British University in Egypt, Bayan
Al-Tal, Director of the Media Education Project at the Jordan Media Institute,
and Dr. Cairo Arafat, Executive Director of Bidaya Media Est.
The conference comes as part of the Ministry of
Education's keenness to promote the concept of education within practical
frameworks that instill the country's values and principles in students' minds
through the adoption of positive practices in communicating with others by
training the educational field on how to deal with all social media.
The conference aims to identify the various successful
experiences in the world in the field of media education and attempt to create
awareness among all community members on the importance of prudently dealing
with the social media flow of information, daily, in various subjects and the relevant
consequent negative practices such as spreading rumors and misleading the
public through those media.
The conference includes 60 workshops, on two days, delivered
by experts to cadres of the educational field to frame the concept of media
education and integrate it within the other curricula offered to students.
On his part, H.E. Eng. Abdulrahman Al-Hammadi stressed
the importance of the concept of media education in its integrated framework,
which ensures the participation of all society members in dealing with rumors
and false news and how to deal with the social media in a thorough manner that
safeguards the safety of members of society.
He stressed the importance of instilling self-censorship
in students' minds through close cooperation between all institutions, starting
with the family and the school as well as all concerned parties. This aims to
immunize students from all negative practices which social media is filled with
and keep them away from any threats or risks.
The Ministry of Education is striving to achieve a
safe learning environment that contributes to enhancing the students'
self-confidence as well as instilling positive values in them, he added,
pointing out that since the launch of the Emirati school, the Ministry of
Education has strived to play a vital role in introducing students to the
achievements of the UAE and the values and uniqueness of the UAE society.
On his part, Habib Al Sayegh said that the accurate
educational practice and its information constitute a media education if such
practices succeed in forming awareness among students on how to deal with the
daily momentum of the flow of information.
He added that the conference contributes to lanching
an integrated project for education and provides reliable solutions to shape
the students' awareness about the importance of information and its exchange on
various digital media platforms, pointing out that media education is an input
to establish and dedicate the value system that characterizes the UAE
community, particularly, the values of honesty and truthfulness.
He commented that media education is a social and
cultural project that can only be crystallized if it is part of the national
strategy and the vision of leaders and officials. It is, therefore, important
to device an institutional formula for dealing with the media, especially the
news, and to identify its impact on society according to the screening and
selection mechanisms used by the society when circulating information.
Privacy of others
On his part, Dr. Mohammed Al-Kuwaiti said that the
media in the current era has become an instantaneous and rapid media, as all
members of the society have become media professionals due to the availability
of modern communication devices for all. This has allowed a large amount of
news and information without screening and verifying their credibility.
He clarified that the negative aspects of the modern
media include spreading rumors and lies, violating the sanctity and privacy of
others, as well as committing fraud crimes through social media. This calls for
taking all possible measures to protect the members of the society from the deception
and misleading of some news and information.
Dr. Ibrahim Al Dabal General Coordinator Khalifa
Student Empowerment Program stressed that education is a matter of national
security, a responsibility which all members of society shall assume, pointing
out the great challenges facing the Arab societies in general because of the
tremendous technological revolution that is taking place in our time. This
calls for preparing our youth to face such massive evolution.
Al Dabal added that social media has become a marketplace
for terrorist organizations to spread their poison. This necessitates raising children's awareness
of the importance of searching and analyzing the information before publishing
it. This can be achieved by introducing them to the laws and regulations set by
the country to counter extremist ideas and false information. He also stated
that media education starts from an early age.
Integration of roles
On his part, Mohammed Al-Hammadi, during his
participation in a workshop on the sidelines of the Media Education Conference,
stressed the importance of integrating the role of the family and the Ministry
of Education in promoting a conscious media culture for children and students,
pointing out that the flow of information and easy access to social media means
that we must strengthen the awareness of our children through media education.
He also pointed out that the those with destructive
ideas are using the social media to spread their toxins and misconceptions and
we must challenge them through social and institutional frameworks that ensure
the establishment of a framework of knowledge and values for members of the
community that can detect the false messages carried by some news.
During his speech at the conference, Dr. Ali Alhakami,
president of Inma Education Est said that media education has characteristics
that boost the motivation for learning given its specialized subject and area
of focus. It studies something tangible that directly relates to the daily
learner's life. This catches the leaner's attention and motivates him/her to
discover this field and its secrets.
Alhakami pointed out that media education provides the
learner with a comprehensive picture of the media environment, reveals many of
the secrets of the media industry in accordance with the principles of media
education, and helps enable the learner to use the tools and skills of dealing
with the media. This, in turn, boosts the student's confidence and self-empowerment
as well as a constructive spirit to conduct him/herself in a positive and
He added that media education helps learners to
acquire high-order thinking skills because the media field is a very fertile
field for activating thinking skills. This requires learning critical thinking
skills, creative thinking and decision-making as well as problem-solving skills
and tackling challenges.
Dr. Najla Al Omary, adviser, media trainer and
lecturer at the British University in Egypt and the Jordan Media Institute,
pointed out the Kingdom of Jordan has been among the first countries to
introduce the media education in the Middle East with the purpose of preparing
the public to understand the media culture surrounding them, select the best
out of it, learn how to deal with it and participate effectively and
impactfully. She stressed that this book represents the first innovative Arab
experience and application of this kind.
Bayan Al Tal stressed that the media education
curriculum enables the community members to reach a comprehensive understanding
of the media used in their society as well as its working mechanism. It also enables
them to gain the skills of using media to communicate and understand others.