6.8 Media literacy and safe use of new media
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There overarching national strategy for digital education skills is the Education Strategy 2030+. In the earlier period there was also a governmental strategy called the Digital Czech Republic v. 2.0, which offered overall backing to other partial conceptions, and one of which is also the Strategy of Digital Education
Digital Learning is one of the objectives (no. 1.4) with emphasis on:
- Digital environment
- Computational thinking
- Ensuring the promotion of digital literacy for all pupils
- Supporting the digital competences of all teachers
- Reducing inequalities and preventing the digital divide
The FEP states the 'Informatics and information and communication technologies' (hereinafter 'Informatics') as one of the compulsory areas in regional education.
Informatics is a wide area, which in the Czech FEP covers the area of work with ICT, as well as the area of information literacy and online security, as it is for example in the FEP for general secondary schools:
'The realisation, respect and alleviation of negative influences of modern information and communication technologies on society and human health to know the means of prevention and protection from misuse and restriction of personal freedom of the human; gaining data from a higher number of alternative sources and differentiating credible and quality information sources from unreliable and poor-quality ones; realisation of basic legal aspects and ethical principles connected to work with information and computer technology with respect to intellectual property, copyright, personal data and principles of correct citation of authors' works' (page 63).
Another educational area which covers media literacy in the scope of formal education is the cross-sectional topic 'Media education', which, according to the FEP for general secondary schools, should help the pupil in the following areas:
'To develop a critical distance from stimuli coming from media products (so to develop the ability to receive and process media products with the sense of how they are constructed and with which communication intention they are being offered at the market);
To realise the importance of unmediated interpersonal relations (family, partner) and their inner emotional and cognitive dynamics (in many cases contrasting with the stereotypical offer of their portrayal in the media products);
To adopt procedures of rational and controlled treatment of symbolic contents; to support free decision making based on critical evaluation of provided information of unequal character, especially decision-making at the level of the civic dimension of living in society and its separation from the consumer’s dimension;
To learn to evaluate the quality and relevance of information sources;
To get the idea about the role of media in the individual types of society and different historical contexts' (page. 79)
Methodological support is provided by the National Pedagogy Institute, as well as within continuous methodological support of teachers during the implementation of the FEP (within DVPP see Chapter 6.7 'Support tools for teachers' for details).
For the primary school level, there is since January 2021 revised FEP in the field of ICT. A new key competence - digital - and a new educational field of informatics are being incorporated. Informatics focuses primarily on the development of computational thinking and understanding the basic principles of digital technologies. The digital competence of pupils in individual educational fields of the FEP ZV will develop according to how the development of digital technologies affects their content.
Following the earlier Digital Strategy, the DigiCoalition was created. DigiKoalice (Czech National Coalition for Digital Jobs) is an open fellowship of representatives of state institutions, IT companies, ICT sector, educational institutions, academic assemblies, non-profit organizations, statutory authorities of schools, educational institutions and other entities, that wish to contribute to better digital literacy of citizens of the Czech Republic, to increase their chances of succeeding in the labour market with help of their digital skills and a result, improving the competitiveness of the Czech economy.
With the exception of occasional projects financed by various sources and very often the ESF or the Erasmus+ Programme, there is no systematic education of youth workers in media literacy in the Czech Republic.
However, in the field of leisure-based education (according to the Education Act) the youth educators can use the support system of the DVPP for pedagogical workers.
In the field of youth organisations, the Czech Council of Children and Youth, a non-state and independent national youth council, started a project in 2017 supported by the ESF and offering possibilities for further education of employees of youth organizations (no voluntary youth workers allowed according to the national grant scheme). It is up to the youth organisations to decide if media and media safety topics as relevant for their education, and many related courses are in place since the launch of this initiative.
The area of cyberbullying and other specific online dangers is very explicitly visible within the scope of primary prevention of risky behaviour, which is covered by the Strategy of primary prevention 2019-2027.
This strategy sees children and youth as a target group and introduces among other things evaluation standards for awarding certification to an entity, which wishes to be active in this area. Entities, which were up to now certified by the MEYS, focus among other things on the area of cyberbullying.
Cyberbullying is also explicitly mentioned within the scope of methodological documents published by the MEYS on primary prevention; the area of online security as such is still missing.
Within the scope of primary prevention, the MEYS also has a subsidy programme.
MEYS has its own Department of Prevention, which deals with methodological support of regional consulting centres, as well as with certification and subsidy programmes. Furthermore, this structure is supplemented by regional school coordinators of prevention and methodology specialists of prevention within the scope of pedagogical-psychological advice bureaus.
In 2018, one-year non-investment projects were supported under the Children and Digital Media priority, which aimed to monitor the issue of non-substance online addiction of children, media education or cyberbullying of children and adolescents. The volume of funds for 2018 was set at almost 400 thousand. CZK.
Since 2006 there has also been a non-state organisation called the 'National Centre for Safer Internet' (Národní centrum bezpečného internetu), also known as 'SaferInternet', undertaking many activities to prevent cyberbullying, help (specifically youth and seniors) victims of cyberbullying and other negative risks posed by the internet and new media. The organisation is cooperating with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and other public authorities and runs several projects in the fields of raising awareness-raising and helping. The organisation is also a designated national coordinator of the No Hate Speech Movement in the Council of Europe Youth sector by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. The organisation is supported by several public projects from national, regional as well as EU resources. The main initiatives are Day of Safer Internet, Prague Safe online, and European Month of Cybersecurity, and they provide eSafety Label certification for schools.