By Obong Martins Akpan
Media literacy is quite new in Nigeria and other parts of Africa. However, South Africa has been having several educators showing keen interest in it for decades. Therefore considering the influx of messages in today’s world and innovative communication gadgets and platforms the study of media literacy becomes quite necessary.
Africa cannot be left out of this trend in modern day learning. My interest in media literacy came in early 2000 during my TV production days. I was actively involved in the production of educational programs on cable and open TV channel in Nigeria. It helped me to produce quality TV programs. I found out that it added quality to my productions, also it brought interactive participation too. I’ve also been also involved in classroom learning as a tutor. Media literacy immensely improved classroom learning.
My active involvement in media literacy has also brought some positive involvement in educational media production in Nigeria. I also experienced an innovative way to bring excellence to classroom learning.
I have benefitted greatly from my mentor Frank Baker a media literacy resource person in the USA. I will not fail to mention the study visit of Dr Rother Lee, who visited Nigeria and worked with me in 2005 to spread media literacy in Nigeria.
I also had UNESCO training program with Athabasca University in 2015 on information literacy and intercultural dialogue.
Our projects in Nigeria under the platform of the TEENS RESOURCE CENTRE a project of Labour Research and Training Services, have worked in projecting MIL across the country. We have worked on training and exposing learners to media literacy. Schools like Etinan Institute Etinan Akwa ibom state Nigeria, have benefited from our peer training. This year a group of girls under our project were trained on the importance of ICT in development of the girl child based on the SDG Millennium goals. We have also been actively involved on media projects across the country with a foremost fruit milk manufacturer in Nigeria, Bobo Foods and Beverages Ltd.
Presently to further project MIL with the UNESCO office in Nigeria capital Abuja, we are moving to five states in Nigeria and Nigeria’s most populous city Lagos to train and expose teachers on media and information literacy. We are also working hard with Nigerian Teachers Institute to start a training program on MIL for Nigerian teachers nationwide.
I strongly believe that the establishment of the AFRICAN MEDIA AND INFORMATION LITERACY INSTITUTE Nkana – Etinan Akwa Ibom state Nigeria, will help to further project MIL in Africa.