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Citizen susceptibility to conspiracies and misinformation is a central issue in Romania. Assessing 10 EU countries, GLOBSEC established that 39% of respondents in Romania believed conspiracy theories and misinformation. Moreover, Romania is the European country with the lowest level of basic digital skill compared to the European Union’s average, according to Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI).

The lack of digital and media literacy skills is also affecting the youth, who are highly influenced by what they see on social media platforms. And, according to a study conducted by the Center for Independent Journalism (CIJ) in 2022, most of them were unable to identify elements in suspicions articles or posts.

What we aim to achieve

Within the “Digital Literacy Transformation for Romanian Youth” project, financed by Fondation Botnar, coordinated by the Center for Independent Journalism and implemented in partnership with Ashoka România, E-Civis, EDUMI, Funky Citizens and PONT Group we aim to help the youth, the future active citizens of Romania, to be better equipped in terms of digital literacy, in order to be able to make informed decisions; as well as in terms of understanding and using emerging technologies, such as AI. To achieve that, partners involved in the project will focus on implementing activities in their area of expertise, while also supporting all partners, to better achieve strategic objectives. 

Project time frame: September 2023 – August 2026

How are we going to do this?

Ashoka will facilitate the collaboration process for the organizations to reach collective impact and communicate efficiently along the way. Additionally, it will identify new allies for the Consortium and develop a dedicated advocacy platform, shaping a lessons learned document for project partners, as well as a curriculum and resources for both formal and non-formal education.

CIJ wil research and design an in-depth digital literacy training for teachers, that includes curricula, activities design, other resources for secondary education and high school teachers and evaluation tools, including post-training mechanisms to keep the teachers community engaged and motivated to increase the digital media literacy competencies of their students. CIJ will also design resources for training and mentoring program dedicated to pedagogical school students. 

E-Civis will create a new Robohub as a community hub fostering innovative learning opportunities for youth and teachers where they can learn about about tech, disinformation, digital space, AI, face recognition, deep fakes, algorithms and technology evolution through a joint effort of NGOs, local authorities and private companies. 

EDUMI will ensure that Romanian teachers (primary education) will have access to long-format training, tools and resources to develop digital literacy competencies of their students.They will also develop a set of resources publicly available for the general public. 

Funky Citizens will map the information and media consumption patterns of the youth, will develop a curricula and resources for formal and non-formal education at all levels-roadmap document, Curriculum and materials for workshops for NGOs working with youth as well as an awareness raising campaign targeting youth.

PONT Group will develop school newspapers, so that young people aged 14-18 will have increased participation, critical thinking and digital literacy by being directly involved in the content production and by accessing information created by their peers.

 

How is the PONT Group going to contribute?

  • Develop participation, critical thinking and digital literacy through school level content consumption and engagement among young people aged 14-18 with the support of a digital platform and educational program built on the concept of school newspapers;
  • to empower young people to create own digital content based on the ethics, methods and dynamics of media content creation. This creates a context for the exchange of ideas and dialogue within school communities, too.

  For this purpose, it will:

  • create the framework of the programme involving young people, school representatives and experts; 
  • create a guide and educational materials for young people concerning media literacy, journalism, school newspaper; 
  • selecting 4 schools, working with them on piloting 4 school newspapers through equipment, a bootcamp, thematic workshops and mentoring; 
  •  create an online solution where schools can create their own, personalized online newspaper. 

 

About Fondation Botnar

Fondation Botnar is a Swiss philanthropic foundation working to improve the health and wellbeing of young people living in cities around the world. Advocating for the inclusion of youth voices and the equitable use of AI and digital technology, the foundation invests in and supports innovative programs and research, and brings together actors from across sectors to create dialogue and partnerships: www.fondationbotnar.org

This material reflects the views only of the PONT Group and the partners mentioned cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained herein.