Our first Media Literacy workshop was conducted in 2009. It was high time we introduced media literacy to more teachers. On March 25 – 26, 2011, teachers from The A.M.I School, Beaconhouse School Systems, Generation’s School, Indus Academy, P.E.C.H.S. Girls’ School, Valika Comprehensive School and P.E.C.H.S. Girls’ College came together to become more media literate, which is, the ability and skill to be more discerning consumers of print and electronic media. The majority of teachers were from the primary level, which is the level the workshop was announced for.
There were some pre-primary teachers, one of whom attended because she has older children and there was also one college teacher. Mahenaz Mahmud, Uzma Rauf and Madiha Afzal facilitated the workshop.
A number of participants reported that on the way home after the first day, they viewed all the billboards more consciously, asking themselves questions such as, “So, what is behind this message?” “Who benefits from it?” Another participant said she was particularly conscious about listening to the news on different channels.
At the end of the workshop, most participants said that they would recommend the integration of media literacy into their curricula, to their school administration. One participant shared that by attending this workshop, and becoming aware of how critically one needs to analyse the media, would make him a better citizen.
TRC aims to form a Media Literacy Group in 2012, which will pilot the ‘formal’ integration of media literacy activities into their curriculum. They will meet at TRC on a regular basis to share experiences, and develop materials to advocate media literacy to other schools.