NATION

Ministry Of Education Celebrates International Day For Universal Access To Information

The theme this year is “The Right to Know – Building Back Better with Access to Information”. With COVID 19, the world has seen a lot of inaccurate and unreliable information were disseminated to people.
28 Sep 2021 09:19
Ministry Of Education Celebrates International Day For Universal Access To Information
Premila Kumar.

The Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts, today joins the rest of the world in celebrating The International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI).

The theme this year is “The Right to Know – Building Back Better with Access to Information”. With COVID 19, the world has seen a lot of inaccurate and unreliable
information were disseminated to people.

On 17 November 2015, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared 28 September as the International Day for Universal Access to Information. UNESCO with its partners will host a series of online webinars to address challenges associated with the digital era and open data.

Minister Premila Kumar says, “In today’s day and age, the need for reliable and accurate information is extremely important as it helps to build better societies. We
all rely on correct information not only to keep ourselves well informed but to also make critical decisions. When Fiji released the COVID-19 vaccinations, a number of speculations followed. This created fear and many Fijians at first refused to get vaccinated. However, with awareness and exchange of accurate information we
managed to convince people to get vaccinated. I would like to reiterate that it is important that correct information is relayed as it helps build back stronger communities”.

Access to information is recognized as a prerequisite for sustainable development and for claiming human rights. With sustainable development Goal 16, the target
(16.10) to promote access to inform is also anchored in the 2030 Agenda.

“We live in an Information Age and this means that there is information available to us everywhere. We have internet, television, radio and other forms of media making information available to us 24 hr. a day, 7 days a week. While this is a good thing, it does mean that we must have the ability to critically and independently anaylse the information we receive, evaluate the sources before forming our opinions based on the information”, stated Hon. Minister Kumar.

She further emphasized that “this is another reason why it is important to develop critical thinking in our students throughout their learning journey. As critical thinking and information literacy evolves, student learning can become enquiry based and there can be a lot more independent learning which will of course lead to lifelong learning”.

The curriculum review that is scheduled for next year will look critically at developing these skills in our students. It also becomes important that these skills are reinforced and developed further at the tertiary level.

Minister Kumar is urging the students, teachers and parents to use caution when they access information and identify correct information, especially at this
unprecedented times when we have so many sources.

Feedback: rosi.doviverata@fijisun.com.fj



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