Photo by: Barbara Ningi Mdunge MDDA CEO Lumko Mtimde; MDDA Chairperson Phelisa Nkomo; Deputy Minister in the Presidency Obed Bapela and DAC Prof Keorapetse Kgositsileclick to enlarge
Ms. Phelisa Nkomo, the MDDA Board Chairperson, extended a warm welcome to the delegation, highlighted the need for a diverse media content putting emphasis on the use of various indigenous languages throughout the country and added that a key stakeholder in addressing the issue of literacy was the youth of today.
"An informed and knowledgeable society is key to enhance a people driven and sustainable democracy in the name of our fallen hero, the selfless leader Cde Chris Hani. There is a need to "target the future" by working with young people who are the leaders of tomorrow. This media literacy project needs to be sustained and the MDDA is calling for support from stakeholders with similar interest to work with us in taking this project to more needy and deserving schools. We appreciate the work and contribution by the Department of Arts and Culture on the promotion of literacy in the community and we will continue to work in partnership with the Department to take the Media literacy program forward. The Department of Basic Education is our strategic partner as this project talks to the school curriculum, the presence of the then Deputy Minister of Education, Adv. Andre Gaum, in March 2009 at the launch of this project, strengthened our relations. We look forward to the day all rural and poor schools have access to information in an indigenous language of their choice through community media (newspapers, radio and TV)". Stressed the MDDA CEO, Mr. Lumko Mtimde.
Speaking at the event, Chief Director of the Department of Basic Education, Dr. Shermain Mannah said in supporting the call for more media products of varying nature, language is an expression of one's identity and culture. Higher level thinking skills can only come through the promoting of media literacy, she added. "We need active, responsible citizens to ensure a better country and media products in community serve as a catalyst for bigger things", she said.
Advisor to the Minister of Arts and Culture, Prof. Keorapetse Kgositsile delivered the message of support and highlighted that a dynamic media without a literate society is a wasteful exercise, calling for a holistic approach on raising the literacy level in the country. He challenged community and small commercial media (radio, TV and newspapers) to regularly have a book review section or programme targeting indigenous language books, as a way of promoting the culture of reading.
Deputy Minister in the Presidency, Hon. Obed Bapela delivered the keynote address, in his speech Hon. Bapela said the notion that people like watching rather than reading has to change and emphasised on building capacity of educators as their role is crucial in raising the literacy level of learners. The Deputy Minister said media education must become part of the school curriculum and called the private sector and other key role players to support efforts promoting media literacy. The Deputy Minister further tasked the Department of Communications to look into assisting an Eastern Cape learner Nthatisi Ntsheho from Moeketsi Graves High (Matatiele) and other former Media Literacy beneficiaries to be enrolled at the National Electronic Media Institute of South Africa (NEMISA) for a media course.
Two of the learners who benefitted from the project [Nthatisi Ntsheho from Moeketsi Graves High (Matatiele) and Ms Senki Moshoeshoe from Clocolan High (Thabo Mofutsanyana, Free State)] shared their experience and the impact the project had on them. The Educator from Moeketsi Grave Senior Secondary School, Mr Bantu Sikhunyana said the project has led to improve the learners writing skills, reading skills, confidence and ability to express and articulate themselves. He said his school is now running its own newspaper, Moi Sun and started a radio station Moi FM with learners leading these projects and he thanked MDDA. Presentations were also made by SABC Education, Umsinsi Press - Dancil Pencil project, Media24, Mindset and Independent Newspapers - NIE project. Ms Nothando Migogo, MDDA Board member thanked all the key MDDA partners in the project including the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism (IAJ) which has been involved since the beginning.
After the evaluation and Summit deliberations, the following recommendations were made : that the Media Literacy should become a national priority; that media literacy need ambassadors to popularise it; that the project must be expanded across all school tiers (including the foundation stage) and in every province; that resources must be made available including funding, development of appropriate material and sharing of resources; that MDDA must establish smart partnerships; and that the legacy of this project must be celebrated.
The MDDA will continue investing in the project and implement it in all the nine provinces. The overall MDDA long-term goal of the project is to see media literacy and the culture of reading included in the school curriculum.
Lumko Mtimde, Chief Executive Officer
For further information please contact: Manana Stone at 011 643 1100 / 071 681 9269www.mdda.org.za
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