Saturday, April 17, 2021

The role and the support of the media in the enhancement of interethnic cohesion and integration in the schools

At the end of January, a roundtable was held in Skopje on the topic: “The role and the support of the media in the enhancement of interethnic cohesion and integration in the schools” which was attended by about thirty media representatives, university professors, experts from various institutions and USAID representatives.

The purpose of the round table was to share the positive experiences and practices accomplished thus far with a view to improving the interethnic integration at the schools, as well as to discuss the potential manners of enhancing and improving the role of the media in this process.

At the beginning, the following persons addressed the attendants: Mr. Nebojsa Mojsoski, Chief of Party of the USAID Interethnic Integration in Education Project, Ms. Nazihtere Sulejmani, state advisor at the Ministry of Education and Science, as well as chairperson of the integrated education working group, and the journalist, Mr. Zoran Bojarovski.

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Mr. Mojsoski emphasized that the accomplishment and maintenance of interethnic integration in education and in general in society is a complex and long-term process, after which he presented a summary of the many steps that have been taken so far to that end, pointing out that there is still plenty to do in order to be able to speak about a high-quality integrated education.

In her address, Ms. Sulejmani talked about the cooperation between the MES and the civic sector, while also sharing the benefits aimed at a better interethnic cohesion that arose from this partnership.

On the other hand, Mr. Bojarovski focused on the manner in which the Project cooperated with the journalists and the media, while sending a message for supporting the positive practices and activities for interethnic integration implemented in the elementary and secondary schools throughout Macedonia.

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During the open discussion, the editors and journalists from various media, the press, the portals, the local media and the university professors and the experts, encouraged an active and productive dialogue regarding the role of the media for the purposes of promoting interethnic cohesion.

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Some of the main conclusions were that the successfulness of the interethnic integration process requires joint efforts, which implies involvement of the institutions, the civic sector and the media. Furthermore, it is necessary to apply an interdisciplinary approach, which includes culture, education and the media.

In addition, an emphasis was put on the importance of the manner in which the media convey the positive practices which are being implemented in the schools, pointing out that it is necessary to have continuity in the reporting on these topics and to address significant issues which deserve a more detailed elaboration within the media content.

The fact was also reiterated that the social media have a substantial impact, wherein it was recommended that the citizens should be motivated to more openly share and encourage reactions to the matrices of a stereotypical and selective reporting by the media, as well as any reporting conveying an untruthful context.