Media literacy remains an issue that needs to be addressed. The Ministry of Education, Science, Technology, and Innovation must act to give the necessary attention to the issue of media literacy. In recent years, various initiatives have been undertaken aimed at extending media literacy to different parts of society, especially in pre-university education with teacher training. Other public discussions, organized by various organizations, have kept the topic active temporarily but without any direct effect on the Ministry. However, it remains necessary to make an action plan by the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology, and Innovation to give the right direction to the inclusion of media literacy in the curriculum, as an compulsory subject.

Current situation of the subject of media literacy

Currently, the subject of media literacy is an elective subject in some schools in Kosovo, but the retention of the subject is seriously challenged by three factors: lack of qualification of teachers in the field of media or communication, lack of a curriculum at the national level because teacher curricula are different in the municipalities, and the status of the elective subject, greatly diminishes the importance of the subject in the eyes of students, who are not even graded in such elective subjects, therefore they may also create a wrong perception of the importance of the subject of media literacy, moreover, students often associate many things with assessment. Therefore, in the current situation, media literacy as a subject does not meet the needs of society and does not fill the gap that in our society is increasing every day, due to the lack of critical judgment on media content.

The three necessary actions of the Ministry of Education

In all this, the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology, and Innovation must intervene in three aspects. It should first be decided that graduates in the field of media, communication, or journalism should be allowed to engage in the position of media literacy teacher. This decision should be accompanied by the condition that these future teachers undergo a special pedagogical program, which would complement their preparation for this task and complement them professionally because it would combine knowledge in media, communication, and journalism with pedagogical skills, irreplaceable and essential in education. All this fulfills a necessary condition, which would pave the way for the second decision of the Ministry, that the subject of media litearcy be included as an compulsory subject in the curriculum. Then work should be done on the creation of a national curriculum, which would be implemented by teachers specially engaged in this subject.

These three steps, if taken before the summer holidays, will create a new space for media literacy in the next school year, which would mark a significant breakthrough for our society. The inclusion of media literacy as an compulsory subject in our schools enables young people to be trained in the use of the media, access to the media, and critical judgment of the media. This article focuses on the treatment of media literacy of children and young people in formal education, but nevertheless should consider solutions for the extension of media literacy in the rest of society, which is no longer part of formal education.

Background illustration: Photo by Robert Kneschke from Alamy Stock Photo / Alamy Stock Photo license

Author: Dren Gërguri, Ph.D. – Lecturer at the Department of Journalism, University of Prishtina “Hasan Prishtina”