The Independent Journalism Centre (IJC), in collaboration with the DW Akademie and with the support of experts from Ukraine, Lithuania, Romania and the Republic of Moldova, has developed and launched a strategic document (Roadmap) setting out the steps our country needs to take to integrate media education concepts into basic subjects. The document was presented on Wednesday September 14, 2022 in an online meeting.
The Roadmap is a joint effort of experts from Ukraine, Lithuania, Romania and the Republic of Moldova, who met in a Working Group to examine the experience of these countries in integrating media education concepts into the curriculum. The first meeting of the Working Group took place on June 8, 2022, followed by individual consultations with experts from Ukraine, Romania and Lithuania. The leader of the Working Group, Natalia Griu, one of the authors of the Media Education textbooks, synthesised the information, included it in a strategic document and based on these experiences outlined the steps to be taken by the Republic of Moldova in this respect.
The Executive Director of the IJC, Nadine Gogu, noted at the beginning of the meeting that the IJC has kept in its Strategy for the coming years the objective of promoting media education. “Respectively, it is very important for us to know what lies ahead in this segment. Certainly, there will be a lot of work to do in the coming period, but we hope that we will have the same success we had when we started the process of introducing the optional course Media Education in schools”, noted Nadine Gogu.
Olena Ponomarenko, programme director in Moldova at DW Akademie, said that although the discussions in the Working Group are about something new – integrating media education concepts into other subjects – this does not mean that the effort made so far has been in vain. “On the contrary, teachers who teach media education already have some experience of how media concepts can be integrated into their subjects. This is extremely valuable experience, which can be put to good use in the new process we have launched,” said Elena Ponomarenko.
Marcela Adam, secretary of the parliamentary Commission for culture, education, research, youth, sport and the media, expressed the hope that the efforts of the national and international experts who worked on the Roadmap will be appreciated. “Recent events show us the challenges facing society around the world today. In these circumstances, it is therefore media literacy that makes us think critically and allows us to understand where there is truth and where there is falsehood. This is probably our common goal – to educate a critical thinking society,” underlined the MEP.
Members of the Working Group from Ukraine were Oksana Voloshenyuk, Ukrainian Press Academy, Irina Staraghina, author of educational programmes for young people, and Ruslan Shalamov, university professor and textbook author. Romania was represented in the Working Group by the Executive Director of the Independent Journalism Centre from Bucharest, Cristina Lupu, and Lithuania – by the manager of the Media Education project in Lithuania, Arminas Varanauskas.
The Roadmap was presented by Natalia Griu, who noted that the stages of development of the document involved three important steps – the research stage, the drafting stage and the final stage – the consultation and validation stage. “During the work of the Working Group we were able to benefit fully from the experience of colleagues from countries that are close to us in terms of social, economic and historical background. We looked at the curriculum framework in these countries, how media education has been integrated into the curriculum, teacher training and, of course, intersectoral collaboration”, noted the leader of the Working Group.
The document involves a series of steps aimed at the curricular integration of media education in the next three years, the most important of which include the development of a study on the level of integration of media education in the National Curriculum for the 2018-2019 generation, the development of the study on the reflection of media competence descriptors in school textbooks, the piloting of the Methodology on the integration of media education activities in primary, gymnasium and lyceum education, as well as teaching resources in general education institutions in 5 districts. The document also sets out the revision of the three curriculum for the optional subject Media Education, as well as the introduction of the Media Education section in the Moldova 1 public television channel and its consolidation at Radio Moldova.
As a result of the presentation of the Roadmap, Valentin Crudu, Head of the General Education Directorate of the Ministry of Education and Research, was open to the idea of integrating media education concepts into other subjects, based on the experience of Ukraine, Romania and Lithuania in this regard. “I suspect that for the next school year we could prepare the ground for piloting in a number of schools the integration of media education concepts. But until then we need to decide for which school level we want to introduce these changes, in which subjects and for which modules. I think it is a good initiative and I don’t think my colleagues at the Ministry would be against it”, was convinced Valentin Crudu.
The event was also attended by a group of teachers who teach the optional subject Media Education, who were open to the new initiative.
The Roadmap’s implementation period is 2023-2025. The document will be adjusted with the latest proposals coming from the final meeting of the Working Group and then submitted to the Ministry of Education and Research.
The Working Group is created within the project “Strengthening Media Education Skills in the Republic of Moldova”, with the support of Deutsche Welle Akademie and the financial support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Research of the Republic of Moldova.