Penplusbytes’ MIL 2023 Project to train more students with disabilities

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The goal of Media and Information Literacy (MIL) education is to enhance people’s competencies to access, analyse, create, reflect on and take action with media content. However, there are only a few reports about the work of MIL educators with persons with disabilities (PWDs) to develop their competencies such as critical thinking, production skills, and exploration of one’s own identity and voice, which can all be achieved through media and information literacy training.

Penplusbytes identified this gap in 2021 and in the ensuing year, launched a pilot training program for senior high schools for the hearing impaired in Ghana and to ensure an inclusive approach in tackling the menace of disinformation.

The team is set to upscale the pilot project for this year with the aim of empowering more students with hearing impairment to be media and information literate.

Penplusbytes will be holding a 3-day training each in selected special needs schools in 3 regions of the country. The training will kick-start at the State School for the Deaf at Ashaiman in the Greater Accra region from May 19th to 21st 2023; then move to Cape Coast School for the Deaf and make a final stop at Ashanti School for the Deaf in the Ashanti region.

The first day of the training in each of the selected schools will focus on orienting some teachers in the schools on MIL competencies and why it is important to help cascade learnings after the training period.

According to the programme manager at Penplusbytes, Precious Ankomah, “Last year’s pilot training program opened our eyes to the realities of these young people with disabilities who surprisingly have increased access to digital platforms which facilitates their communication with others and among themselves. They are however more exposed to the ills that exist on these platforms since they are not informed and equipped with the knowledge and skills to counter them. As an organization, Penplusbytes intends not to leave anyone behind in our quest to spread the message of MIL in Ghana.”

Besides these trainings, Penplusbytes will be producing a radio drama series on MIL in Ghanaian languages, which will air on selected radio stations with the aim of reaching the semi-literate and non-literate Ghanaian with the need to be media and information literate. These activities form part of the year’s project activities which are all a build-up to the celebration of Global Media and Information Literacy Week 2023 in October.

For the fifth year running, Penplusbytes with support from DW Akademie has been at the forefront of implementing media and information literacy (MIL) projects with the aim of supporting and promoting the dissemination of skills and competencies in MIL among Ghanaians.

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