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Media studies graduates: “Protest is our last resort”

Phenix Center
Media studies graduates: “Protest is our last resort”
Sarah Qudah - 
Media studies graduates from Jordanian universities denounced the decision to train 3,000 teachers to teach media literacy courses in schools in cooperation with the Jordan Media Institute (JMI), early next academic year.

Media studies graduates considered the decision to train vocational education teachers  to teach media literacy as a "clear exclusion of" and as "undermining" media faculties at Jordanian universities and their alumni.

A social media campaign was launched under the hashtag #خريجو_الاعلام_احق_بالتربية_الاعلامية, (#media_graduates_are_more_deserving_of_media_literacy), in which they called on the government to recruit media studies graduates to teach media literacy courses, based on their merits and in recognition of their specialization in the field.

Members of the social media campaign stressed the need to reconsider the decision to train teachers to teach the subject, and to treat media literacy as an independent academic subject rather than merely  as a set of classes.

Taha Darwish, a professor of media and journalism, posted on his Twitter page: "What are we waiting for? The closure of press and media colleges due to high unemployment among graduates?”

He added: "We need to take advantage of this opportunity and appoint college graduates with degrees in  journalism and media in schools, as four years of studying journalism and media studies qualify graduates to teach media literacy, with high efficiency and competence."

"We, as journalism and media studies graduates, did not expect that after four years of effort and hard work we would end up with several difficulties - most notably, the inability to join the Jordan Press Association except after meeting several contradictory laws and conditions, and to provide training opportunities for graduates of media colleges so that they could join the union," members of the social media campaign said in a statement issued on Sunday evening.

Sami al-Qadi, a member of the "Media Graduates Are More Deserving of Media Literacy" campaign, said the campaign involves more than 1,000 graduates of faculties of media in Jordan.

"The option to protest is our last resort," he said, adding that "the campaign which we initiated last Friday was based more on dialogue, discussion and negotiation in order to obtain our rights and not [for with the intention] to start a conflict."

Al-Qadi expressed the intention of the members of the campaign to go to the House of Representatives this week to discuss with the deputies about their demands and try to get a fair solution through them, such as MP Abdul Karim Al-Daghmi and MP Mohammad Jamel Dhahrawi.

Earlier last week, MP Saleh Al-Armouti questioned the speaker of the House of Representatives about the project to teach media literacy in schools and universities, and the validity that the Government is contracting with JMI to train 3,000 teachers without a degree in media studies to teach the subject in schools.

On Sunday evening, acting head of the Jordan Press Association, Yanal Al-Barmawi wrote to Prime Minister Dr. Bashar al-Khasawneh, asking for instructions to be sent to the Ministry of Education and relevant governmental authorities to limit teaching of media literacy to graduates with degrees in journalism and media studies.