By Mustapha Jarju &
National Youth Council (NYC) The Gambia with support from the UNESCO Dakar office, on Tuesday, 10th October 2023 held a daylong validation training on media information literacy for different youth groups across the country.
This validation training was organized by the NYC in partnership with the Open Media Center, the training was held at the NYC Hall in Kanifing.
Speaking at the opening of the ceremony, Ndey Jobe, Deputy Director of NYC welcomed the participants from different youth groups to the training.
She said NYC has the mandate to coordinate and implement projects that are geared towards developing the youthful population.
“That’s being the case we are touching all aspects, especially in the area of communications which is a burning issue of the day,” she stressed.
She added that it is for this reason they invited journalists to take part in the validation on the same platform with the youth groups in sharing information.
Kebba Jefang, a Consultant from the Open Media Center highlighted the objectives of the training on media literacy saying it is meant to ensure that awareness of the young people in the Gambia are raised in terms of the understanding of media literacy with concerned information.
Mr Jefang expressed that many people have direct access to social media accounts, which is sparking a lot of hate speech on social media platforms.
“Hate speech is very dangerous, it can lead to genocide and it can even destabilize communities,” he stressed.
The Executive Director of NYC, Alagie Jarju said the validation is significant which made it inclusive of different youth groups to enrich the manual.
Mr. Jarju added that the young people formed the bulk of internet users, especially social media, in the country.
“With no education on media and information literacy, and with easy access to the internet, young people are especially prone to making decisions and actions based on wrong information consumed online or sharing dis/misinformation unknowingly,” he stressed.
While concluding his speech, the NYC Executive Director said NYC as the umbrella body of the youth organizations in the Gambia will work with UNESCO in promoting the use of media and information literacy to strengthen the critical capacities of youths as essential for the sustainable development of any society.