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Media Education in Moldovan Schools: Three Years of Growth

03 June 2020
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At the end of this school year, the Media Education elective course completes the third year of it being taught in Moldovan schools. Since 2017, we have progressed at a new stage each year. We began with primary schools and continued with lower and higher secondary levels. Today, at the end of the 2019-2020 school year, we can confidently say that Media Education ‘grew roots’ in schools across the country. Every year, there are more and more teachers who decide to become messengers of media literacy and pupils who are eager to acquire new knowledge. As we have come to the end of the third academic year that guided students to become responsible consumers of information, we invite you to look back at the results of teaching Media Education.

 

The 2017-2018 school year
 

In 2017 the Independent Journalism Center (IJC), with the consent of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research, published the curriculum for the Media Education elective course for the 3rd and 4th grades. In the same year, 53 teachers were trained and nearly 500 pupils from 30 schools became the first learners of this school subject. Also in 2017, IJC printed the first lot of textbooks for the primary school level. 
 
The 2018-2019 school year
 

Starting with the 1st of September 2018, Media Education was taught at the lower secondary level as well, in the 7th and 8th grades. Overall, over 1 500 pupils took this optional course or were being taught media literacy during the orientation classes, both in primary and middle schools. Forty-five primary school teachers from 11 districts, Chisinau municipality and two towns from the left bank of the Nistru river and 20 secondary school teachers from 10 districts and Chisinau municipality chose to teach this course to their pupils.
 
The 2019-2020 school year
 

This academic year, for the first time, Media Education was taught at all three school levels. Thirty-four primary teachers, 35 lower secondary teachers, and 9 high school teachers became ambassadors of media literacy in their schools. This became possible after the National Curriculum Council of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research approved the curriculum of the new course in August 2019. Overall, over 2 700 pupils from 105 classes in Chisinau, Calarasi, Ungheni, Cimislia, Dubasari, Stefan Voda, Criuleni, Sangerei, Anenii Noi, Ialoveni, Hancesti, Orhei, Falesti, Balti, Ocnita, Straseni, Glodeni, Floresti, Soroca, Cahul and Basarabeasca studied media literacy during the 2019-2020 academic year.
 
Training for teachers
 

To date, IJC trained 148 primary school teachers, 101 middle school teachers, and 36 high school teachers. Of them, 62 teachers work in schools teaching in Russian. The training programs were created on the basis of the Media Education curriculum, approved by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research, and the textbooks authored by Loretta Handrabura and Natalia Griu. The trainings are free and accessible for all teachers. In 2019 IJC conducted the first trainings outside Chisinau in order to be closer to the teachers from the regions.
 
Free textbooks for teachers and pupils
 

In order to address the pupils’ and teachers’ needs, during these 3 academic years, IJC printed over 7 000 Media Education textbooks for all stages, both in Romanian and Russian language. Thus, pupils who want to become responsible media consumers have access to textbooks that are donated to their schools. The textbooks are also accessible in electronic format on the Media Education platform.

Two editions of the Media Literacy Week in Moldova
 

In the context of Global Media and Information Literacy Week, announced by UNESCO, IJC launched the first Media Literacy Week in Moldova, during 22-28 October 2018. Almost 600 pupils, 50 teachers, and 80 parents participated in debates, workshops, photo contests, visits to editorial offices, libraries and museums, or meetings with journalists.
 
Given the good experience of the first event, we decided to launch a new Media Literacy Week during the period of 21-27 October 2019. It gathered over 2 000 young and adult media consumers. At the same time, 9 out of 54 teams of pupils were awarded for making videos on media literacy-related topics. You can watch the prized videos here.

School continued in quarantine
 

Despite the quarantine, teachers involved in the Media Education course made an effort to move to online lessons and continued to teach their pupils how to distinguish between the misinformation about the Covid-19 pandemic and reliable information. This optional course has proven its importance and usefulness in such times and having many online tools made remote learning dynamic and student-friendly.

Choose the Media Education course!
 

By September 2020, teachers, parents and children will choose the elective courses for the 2020-2021 school year. On this occasion, we come up with a number of arguments in favor of Media Education.

We invite you to follow the educatia.mediacritica.md platform, where we will continue publishing useful materials for media consumers of all ages.
 
The Independent Journalism organizes media literacy activities under the ‘Strengthening Freedom of Opinion in the Republic of Moldova’ Project, supported by Deutsche Welle Akademie and funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany, the ‘Media Enabling Democracy, Inclusion and Accountability in Moldova’ Project (MEDIA-M), implemented in partnership with Internews and funded by USAID, UK Aid and the ‘Enhancing support for the independent Russian-language media outlets and media literacy efforts’ Project, financially supported by The Embassy of the Netherlands.