Friday, 4 March 2011

DepEd: More education programs, fewer telenovelas

Manila Bulletin

MANILA, Philippines — Education Secretary Armin Luistro Thursday challenged television networks to show more educational programs and reduce the number of telenovelas.

Programs that focus on education “will greatly help to increase the literacy rate among Filipinos,” Luistro said.

Telenovelas, or soap operas, have long dominated TV programming, he said.

“Now, we see more telenovas but I appeal to them to at least designate enough air time to focus on literacy programs to address illiteracy problems among our people,” he said

Pointing out that media have a key role in promoting education, Luistro said that short education programs on TV would not only help address the problem of illiteracy but also facilitate the exercise of critical thinking, particularly among the youth.

“We understand the need of TV stations to maintain rating, but I think education programs that would last at least 30 minutes would be a great leap in improving the quality of education among our young students,” he said.

Luistro said DepEd plans to hold talks with the Kapisanan ng mga Broadkaster sa Pilipinas (KBP) and owners of TV networks to discuss the airing of more educational programs.“They can do so much to help us in our campaign to provide quality education for all by not just airing news and entertainment shows but also in airing programs that are geared towards improving the quality of education in the country,” he stressed.

Aside from the proliferation of telenovelas, DepEd earlier raised their concern about the vulgarity, sex and violence that are still prevalent in some TV shows and other forms of media.

Last year, the DepEd created the Media Literacy Task Force (MLTF) which was given the green light to develop a National Media Literacy Education (NMLE) curriculum that would help children understand and handle media.

“The NMLE is being integrated in the basic education curriculum under Social Studies for the elementary level and under English/Communication Arts and Values in the secondary level,” Luistro said.

DepEd cited studies (Cartoon Network New Generations Philippines (2009), the 2008 AC Nielsen kids study and the 2002 PCTVF Media Violence Study) showing the prevalence of TV viewing among children and youth. It was also reflected in the 2009 study that 26 percent of Filipino children go online everyday, 50% of which use the Internet for their homework.

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