11.02.2019 - UNESCO Office in Amman

EU, UNESCO and partners deliver Media and Information Literacy training to teachers and principals


This week, 43 teachers and principals from 15 schools across Jordan completed an intensive Media Information Literacy Workshop in Amman, under the umbrella of the “Youth Empowerment” project, funded by the European Union (EU). The project works to advance Media Information Literacy (MIL) as a holistic response to foster safe and ethical use, consumption and production of media and internet among youth in Jordan. Implemented by the UNESCO Amman office, with strong collaboration and generous funding from the European Union (EU), the project is being carried out in cooperation with the Ministry of State for Media Affairs, the Ministry of Education, the media community and civil society in Jordan.

The workshop was conducted in partnership with Media Diversity Institute (London) and Jordan Media Institute (JMI). Trainees from Irbid, Zarqa and Ma’an gathered at JMI for four days, as expert trainers delivered a demanding workshop designed to enhance knowledge of MIL principles and equip participants with the tools to pass along their newfound MIL expertise to youth across Jordan.

Mr. Issam Zyoud, principal of a school in Zarqa, feels that strengthening MIL skills can act as a peacebuilding tool and contribute to preventing the risk of hate speech and disinformation in Jordan. “I notice that teenagers in particular are impacted profoundly by what they see and experience on social media. This can be dangerous and some of our youth have been radicalized through their social media platforms”, he shared. “As teachers, we must first equip ourselves with MIL knowledge so that we can guide students to make the right choices, think for themselves and not get stuck in such traps”.

UNESCO believes that MIL supports the development of inclusive knowledge societies, encouraging the active engagement of youth through information and communication technologies, drawing on relevant quality content, based on human rights and dignity.

On the final day of the training, a graduation ceremony was held at JMI, celebrating the hard work of the teachers and principals. His Excellency Mr. Sami Salaitah, Secretary General of the Ministry of Education, complimented the dedication of the trainees and trainers. “We rely on you, as expert trainers to transfer your MIL experience to your colleagues who will then pass it along to students who will in turn convey what they have learned to their friends, families and throughout society”, HE shared.

Ms. Costanza Farina, UNESCO Representative to Jordan, delivered remarks congratulating the graduates and recognizing the strong support and collaboration of the European Union under the “Youth Empowerment” project. “This weeks’ training has equipped you -- the teachers and school principals -- as MIL Ambassadors on whom we count on to ensure that students have access to the knowledge you have acquired”.

Dr. Bassim Tweissi, Dean of Jordan Media Institute, expressed his gratitude to the EU, the Ministry of Education and UNESCO and recognized participants for their ongoing strong engagement.

Ms. Hana Awwad, a teacher and a trainer from Irbid, did not know what to expect when she signed up for the MIL training. “This is all new terminology for me and has already impacted the way I am digesting media”. As training participants return to their governorates, they are expected to establish their own MIL clubs with students. “In my club, I will encourage a few passionate students from each class to join and perhaps those that already have an interest in journalism. I will focus on attracting those with some influence among their peers so that the skills they learn will have a strong impact among their friends and online”, explained Ms. Awwad.

For her MIL club, Ms. Intisar Al Bdour, a school principal from Ma’an, has plans to reach out to students from her own school and those in the surrounding area to achieve a broad impact. “I need to make sure that I attract sufficient female membership, and that I make it a safe place for learning”. Fifty percent of the graduating group of teacher and principal trainees were female.

Strengthening MIL skills falls within UNESCO’s mandate of encouraging freedom of expression. The objectives of the ‘Youth Empowerment’ project align with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, specifically targeting Sustainable Development Goal 16, which strives to promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies.

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