The Peace Gong Media Literacy programme is an initiative of the Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore Foundation.
The aim of the Programme: Develop communicative, semiotic and cultural skills along with critical thinking abilities amongst children so that they can negotiate the increasing complexities of today’s world. Besides, the thrust is to develop capacities of children to use the media to contribute towards a culture of peace and nonviolence.
The broad objectives of the programme are:
- Become more discriminating in the use of mass media.
- Distinguish between reality and fantasy and separate fact from fiction.
- Think critically about media messages.
- Consider whether media values are their values.
- Pursue character and value education.
- The Peace Gong Media Literacy Programme with strong emphasis on the principles of non-violence can help alert students, parents, and teachers to the risks of a heavy diet of violence viewing/reading.
- The Peace Gong Media Literacy Programme will help students understand the true harm that violence causes and develop their communicative skills to promote peace and non-violence.
- The Peace Gong Media Literacy Programme in conjunction with conflict resolution and peer mediation programs, helps young people find peaceful means of resolving conflicts.
- The programme aims to develop capacities of children to construct media messages and media products.
Peace Gong Clubs in Schools
As the overarching goal of Peace Gong is to promote media and information literacy amongst students so that we can promote active citizenry, the fulcrum of initiatives of the Peace Gong Clubs will be to develop capacities of children to use media for highlighting social concerns.
Besides the Peace Gong Clubs will be platforms for promoting child participation and the spirit of volunteerism. These would help enable students to take up different issues of social concern in their communities.
While the local Peace Gong clubs can develop their own initiatives as per the local requirements of the community and available resources, some common activities will be taken up by Clubs in different states.
Some possible interventions of Peace Gong Clubs:
1) Students of each of the Peace Gong Clubs can develop their own wallpapers. These can be put up in school notice boards. Already the Peace Gong Bureaus in Kerala and Assam have developed local wallpapers in Malayalam and Assamese. Some of the best stories can actually be used in the main Peace Gong edition.
2) Conducting basic reality check of issues and concerns of the local community. These could be on the state of education, health, etc. The reports of the reality checks can be used in the local wallpaper.
3) Awareness campaign on important issues of the area. The Peace Gong Clubs can take the leadership in initiating awareness campaign on local concerns like health, hygiene, cleanliness, right to education etc. Relevant posters etc can be developed in this regard.
4) Back to basic nature camps. The Peace Gong Clubs can create awareness on nature and wildlife conservation.
5) Communication for peace and conflict resolution. An important focus of the Peace Gong Clubs will be to promote non-violent communications. We have easy to use manual on the issue which can be used to promote communications for conflict resolution.
6) Evolving Peace Gong Book Bank.
7) Each Peace Gong Club can develop their own theme song.
8) Make use of local media/alternate media to highlight efforts of the Peace Gong Clubs.
9) Using understanding of Media and Information Literacy to create awareness on social issues and construct peace messages.
9) Take leadership in organizing basic programmes on different days- International Day of Non-Violence (October 2); World Food Day (October 16); International Volunteers Day (December 5); World Press Freedom Day (May 3); World Environment Day (June 5); Children’s Day (November 14).