As part of its mission to nurture a “culture of democracy”, the Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy (BCMD) has been piloting and developing educational initiatives on media literacy since 2009. With the support of the Ministry of Education, BCMD has been able to conduct workshops for teachers and youth on documentary filmmaking, photography. We have also been initiating Media Clubs, and creative projects for youth. Over this period, BCMD has evolved its concept of media literacy that includes critical and creative thinking, active citizenship, and an understanding of the importance of journalism in society. With this experience, BCMD has been able to design innovative Bhutan-centric activities to promote media and democracy among youth.
In spring 2012, BCMD’s media literacy programme stands poised to expand furthur with support from the Center for News Literacy (CNL) at Stony Brook University. BCMD and Stonybrook signed a Memorandum of Understanding, thus beginning a three- year partnership with a 10-day capacity building workshop in Thimphu. Arriving on March 31st, Dean Miller (Director of CNL) and Michael Spikes (a teacher working for CNL) came prepared to help BCMD develop educational materials that aligned with BCMD’s vision of media literacy. These resources are being developed in consultation with teachers from the Royal Education Council’s SEED Schools, Media Club teacher-coordinators, and youth workers. Once edited and revised, these resources will be made available to all interested teachers and educators. It is the first step towards BCMD’s move to put Bhutan’s media literacy programme in the public domain.
Objectives of the workshop:
Sensitize teachers to the power of information in a democracy, and the necessity to empower the next generation of citizens through education
Develop modules and lesson plans on
o active citizenship,
o rights and responsibilities,
o media in a democracy,
o and debate and dialogue
Introduce teachers and BCMD staff to the Case Study Methodology of lesson plan design
Encourage teachers to start and develop a Media Club