ISLAMABAD: Speakers stressed the need to equip citizens with media and information literacy skills to eliminate extremism and hate speech.

The two-day national conference on ‘Media and Information Literacy for Prevention of Violent Extremism’ was organised by Unesco Information for All Programme (IFAP) in collaboration with Media Matters for Democracy, said a press release.

Speaking on the occasion, Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood said public education system must prepare the youth and children for effective and ethical engagement with digital media and new information technologies.

He said media and information literacy can develop critical thinking skills and respect for cultural diversity among the youth. The minister also said the government was working on education reforms and a unified curriculum that would meet international standards.

Earlier, Unesco representative Vibeke Jensen informed the participants about Unesco’s vision for using media and information literacy as a tool to promote peace building and counter online disinformation. She stressed the need for developing media and information literacy competencies, especially to equip young people with the skills to critically analyse the information disseminated by all types of media.

Published in Dawn, September 18th, 2019