As part of efforts to promote Media and Information Literacy (MIL) in Ghana, Penplusbytes in partnership with DW Akademie and MiLLi Namibia have successfully trained eight people from selected community radio stations certified by the Ghana Community Radio Network (GCRN) in Greater Accra Region (Radio Ada and Radio Latenu), Central Region (Breezy Fm and Arise FM) and Eastern Region (Fawe FM) under its Trainer of Trainers-Summer School initiative dubbed “Be Digital, Be Safe”.
The nine-day training of trainers’ workshop which began on November 25 and ended December 5, 2019 aimed at empowering the participants to become critical of their usage of social media and the internet and the opportunities as well as challenges that come with their usage. The training also highlighted among other things digital rights of users, security and safety practices and ethics of using social media. They were also introduced to new mobile phone application softwares like Pixlr, Editor and Kinemaster, which also sought to equip the participants with audio-visual editing skills to enable them to effectively facilitate digital safety trainings for youths of their respective networks.
At the closing ceremony of the Summer School which was attended by the Country Representative of DW Akademie-Ghana Susanne Fuchs-Mwakideu and other Penplusbytes project staff, the Executive Director of Penplusbytes Madam Juliet A. Amoah urged the participants to make good use of the knowledge and digital skills they have acquired to the benefit of other youth groups in their communities. She also said that every citizen, whether on social media or not, should be exposed to the MIL for their own safety and that of their families and loved ones. “Let’s find ways to ensure that everyone, including those who are not on social media learn about digital safety,” she said.
The Summer School was facilitated by three accredited DW facilitators: Sylvia Braesel, Julia Minner and Justine Hamupolo from Germany and Namibia respectively, who have a wide knowledge of Media and Information Literacy and new digital technologies with many years of experience in strategic training.
According to the lead facilitator, Sylvia Braesel, social media can change countries and democracies depending on its usage, hence, it is imperative for every citizen to be media and information literate to enable them to effectively and efficiently verify information they publish, receive and share on social media.
Evaluating the Summer School at the closing ceremony, the participants expressed joy and thanked the organizers for equipping them with the knowledge and skills to become certified trainers of digital safety. They promised to create innovative content on digital safety to be aired on their respective community radio stations to benefit other people especially the youth who are the majority on social media.
By Joyce Hilda Efia Aboagye