6.8 Media literacy and safe use of new media
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Slovenia has no coherent document or strategy for youth in the field of media literacy and safe use of new media. In the initial strategy for media development up to 2024 (Strategija razvoja medijev v Republiki Sloveniji do leta 2024), there is a topic ‘Media literacy and provision’ stating that ‘media and digital literacy are part of compulsory curriculum in basic school’. The initial strategy was a predecessor of the draft media strategy for 2017-2025 (Osnutek strategije na področju medijev za obdobje 2017 – 2025). A time frame for implementation has yet to be adopted. The strategy does not mention new media in any way. The strategy foresees the following measures:
- analysis of the situation of media literacy,
- introduction of the programmes media literacy or integration of media content literacy in other school subjects. Media literacy in connection with digital literacy is shaped as an essential learning content, possibly as part of another compulsory subject (e.g., civic education) instead of as an optional subject and
- ongoing monitoring of the media literacy situation with research every other year.
The indicators are:
- Comparison of the analysis of the state of media literacy from 2017 with the past analyses,
- the level of integration of content from the field of media literacy into school programmes and
- the extent of adult involvement in media literacy programmes.
Stakeholders are the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, folk universities and media companies.
No indicators for assessment of the strategy exist.
The strategy 'Digital Slovenia - Information Society Development Strategy until 2020' (Digitalna Slovenija - Strategija razvoja informacijske družbe do leta 2020)addresses media literacy, yet not exclusively in the context of youth. It mentions youth in a context of a following measure:
- guiding youth to choose ICT professions and connect youth with the private sector and its needs and trainings for new digital jobs.
According to the Ministry of Ministry of Public Administration, the new strategy 'Digital Slovenia 2030' is under preparation. One of the priority areas of the new strategy will be digital inclusion.
In Slovenia, the provision of media education is currently limited to basic schools, where pupils have the opportunity to choose a separate subject of media education (Vzgoja za medije). Simultaneously, media education is included in other subjects in basic schools. Critical media education is most intensely present in the Slovene language (Slovenščina), while media education is actively pursued in the subject of Homeland and civic education and ethics (Domovinska in državljanska vzgoja ter etika). They address the topics of print media, radio, television etc.
In high school education, sociology (Sociologija) is an exception, as there is special learning topic regarding mass media and communication. In higher education, there are specific study programmes held at the Faculty of Social Sciences, named Communication Studies: Media and Communication Studies (Katedra za medijske in komunikacijske študije).
All major projects are in accordance with all the relevant activities of the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport. Online communities are established within the Slovenian educational network. The ministry funds the programme known as Safe Online (Varni na internetu) through Arnes (Academic and research network Slovenia). The programme is intended mainly for adult users and smaller companies, but it also involves meetings for basic school headmasters with wider context of information on security and online abuse. The Slovenian Centre for Mediation in Network Incidents (SI–CERT), which operates under the auspices of the Arnes, is a national focal point of a public awareness campaign on information security. The project was financed entirely by the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport’s Directorate for Information Society. The Directorate was later moved under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Public Administration.
Under the banner of SAFE.SI, established in 2005, a national programme to raise awareness among children and teenagers on the safe use of the Internet and mobile devices. Activities target four groups:
- parents and
- professional workers (teachers, social workers, youth workers).
SAFE.SI is operated by the Safer Internet Centre Slovenia, the national project promoting and ensuring a better internet for kids. The project is co-financed by the European Union's Connecting Europe Facility, in Slovenia financial support also comes from the Ministry of Public Administration. The project is run by a consortium of partners coordinated by Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Ljubljana, Academic and Research Network of Slovenia (Arnes), Slovenian Association of Friends of Youth (ZPMS) and Youth Information and Counselling Center of Slovenia (MISSS).
The project Safer Internet Centre (Center za varnejši internet) is implemented by the:
- University of Ljubljana (Faculty of Social Sciences),
- Association of Friends of Youth of Slovenia and
- MISSS Institute (Youth Information Advisory Center of Slovenia).
It is financed by the INEA Agency at the European Commission (through the Connecting Europe instrument) and the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport.
The Safer Internet Centre offers three main services:
- Awareness about the safe use of the Internet and new technologies aimed at children, teenagers, parents, teachers and social workers through various online and offline activities, trainings, workshops, materials, promotional campaigns and media campaigns on how to safely and responsibly use the internet and mobile devices.
- Advice Line for Online Problems – Tom Phone 166 111. Consultants answer questions, resolve dilemmas and solve problems related to using the Internet between 12 am and 8 pm each day. As of February 2013, the TOM chat room (TOM telefon za otroke in mladostnike) started to function, where children, adolescents and their parents can receive advice and help through online chat.
- Anonymous online reporting of illegal online content. This includes videos of child sexual abuse (child pornography) and hate speech. If a person encounters such content on the Internet, he/she can report it on the Web Eye (Spletno oko). Similar programmes throughout Europe have proven to be an effective measure in the fight to reduce illegal content on the Internet.