First ever Media Education Online Course in India

New Delhi: The first-ever online course on Media Education in India was organised by NISCORT (National Institute for Social Communication, Research and Training) New Delhi from 17-31 June 2020. 

Nine members from Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, North East, Karnataka, Kerala and Nigeria participated in the programme. Dr Magimai Pragasam, the Vice-President, SIGNIS Asia was the facilitator of this programme.

Online, a way to go!

It was a twelve-day programme with a ‘one and a half-hour’ session each day. The programme disproved the views that online sessions are not so interesting and effective. It was surprising to note that some of the participants logged onto their computers fifteen minutes before the session and continued their interactions even after the instruction hours. 

The course has not only equipped the participants with needed knowledge and skills to handle ‘media education’ sessions in their local places but also given them the confidence to conduct ‘online sessions’ effectively especially during this COVID-19 pandemic time. 

Media from all angles!

The topics covered in the programme include: The present scenario of Media and Youth, the Issues and Strategies, the Concepts and understanding of Media Education in different parts of the world, Advertisement Analysis, Film Evaluation, Children and Digital Media, Fake News, the Power and dangers of Social Media, Newspaper Analysis and News Writing, Violence in Media and Human Communication.  

The Methodology

Lectures with visual-based PowerPoint presentations, frequent interactions, screening of short films and short exercises made the sessions interesting and participatory. At the end of the programme, the participants were asked to submit an assignment on their learning along with their short and long term plans related to media education in their respective places. They were also given certificates from NISCORT.

The Expression of Participants!

‘I will give my best in creating space for Media Education especially in the school for young people so that they don’t become slaves of media but make use of it effectively to become more human and worthy citizens of our world’ said Sr. Margaret, a high school teacher from North East India.

‘An in-depth research on the effects of media on children in my place’ will be my long term goal while starting a blog with positive messages to inculcate values among young people will be my short term goal’ said Praveen, a professional social worker.

Media is powerful and dangerous as well. As Educators, we need to educate young people to become discriminate and responsible users of media’ said Sr. Sharmila, the Coordinator of Social work, Salesian Province of Chennai.

‘In all, this course was apt and timely and was gorgeously presented through logically connected PowerPoint and audio-visual presentations by our down to earth lecturer Dr Magi. I thank all the participants for their useful and practical contributions and my gratitude to the renowned Director of NISCORT, Rev. Dr Jose Murickan,’ said Sr. Dr Elizabeth Aduloju, a media education professional from Nigeria.

‘I am going to introduce media education in my school for the teachers and the students,’ said Sr. Lawrentia, the Principal of St. Dominic High School, Chennai having around 3,000 students. 

‘I found the programme very useful, and I will promote media education in all our provinces in India,’ said Sr. Arockia Mary, the Vice-Provincial of Fatima Sisters Congregation.

Let’s be the voice of the voiceless!

After listening to the feedback from the participants, Fr. Jose Murickan, the Director of NISCORT said, ‘this programme aims to create awareness among people about media, support social transformation and train people to be the voice of the voiceless. Today’s media, While providing useful information, today’s media also mislead people with fake news for selfish reasons. We need to educate people to use media appropriately. As educommunication outlines, let us promote communicative, open, frank, democratic and participatory ecosystems in this world, and I am happy that this programme has produced nine media education trainers to strengthen this process’. He thanked Dr Magi and all the participants for making this programme a great success.

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