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Promotion of media education for Nigerian children

Monday 5 October 2015, by SIGNIS

Kaduna/Brussels, October 5th, 2015 (Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria/SIGNIS). The President of SIGNIS Nigeria, Rev. Fr. Walter Ihejirika has advocated the promotion of media education among children in the country, condemning in strong terms their continued exploitation through making them passive contributors to media contents in the digital world.

Fr Ihejirika made this remark in his address to declare open a four-day Video Clinic Workshop for children, organized by SIGNIS Nigeria at the Media Service Centre, Kaduna.

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Walter Ihejirika

The theme of the programme was: Media and the children. According to him, as prime citizens of the digital era, making children mere consumers of digital products is an exploitation. He therefore urged that they should be assisted to become active contributors to media contents in the digital world.

Fr. Ihejirika, who is also the Vice President of SIGNIS Africa, reiterated that the hob of video film making in Africa is Nigeria and Nollywood films are known all over the world; adding that Nigerian children form a good part of the audience of these films.

In his own remarks, the chairman of the occasion, Mr. Ikechukwu Akanisi (BIJO Surgical) encouraged the children to take advantage of the workshop to display their talents and learn more about the media and how to produce video-films with moral values, adding that they should consider themselves privileged to be part of the training.

The guest speaker, Mr. Toyin Alabi, who is the General Manager of Liberty Fm, spoke about the role of the media in promoting children friendly programmes. He enjoined the mass media, parents and guardians to consider the welfare of the children while packaging their media contents as well as properly guiding them for a better tomorrow.

The training, which was organized for children aged 13-15, drew participants from dioceses within the Northern region. Resource persons presented interesting papers on children and the media, video journalism and film making.

Rev. Fr Anthony Shawuya, the deputy director Media Service Centre, Kaduna, presented a paper on “Catholic Children and the Future of Video” advising that children must not allow the African culture to be lost in the domineering digital age, and that they should create their own stories and have them aired on media stations.

The presentation of Ms. Maria Ihuoma, Controller of Programmes of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria ( FRCN) titled: “ children and the media", captured the essence of parental guide and the effect of excessive media use, noting that the media is currently filled with inappropriate content that are not children friendly.

The training ended with a video drama produced by the participating children entitled: “woes of a disobedient child” which centered on media influence in families.

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