The Jakarta Post
A flood bogus news and information has been pounding Indonesia’s social media users in the past few years, forcing young netizens to be equipped with a new set of skills to be able to verify and debunk the misinformation, lest the hoaxes rip through society.
Therefore, Indonesia's oil and gas giant Pertamina and The Jakarta Post have jointly kicked off a series of digital literacy and social media campaigns in several high schools across Jakarta starting on Tuesday.
“Pertamina is committed to strengthening high school students’ ability to understand, sort and check every piece of information swirling around the digital world and therefore help them use digital technology wisely and prevent them from becoming entrapped by false information,” Pertamina's vice president of corporate communication, Fajriyah Usman, said in a statement.
She said the students should be further trained to together create more positive stories about themselves, their schools and their environment as part of the effort to bring about greater good for society.
“Therefore, we are happy to work together with The Jakarta Post in the series of digital literacy campaigns in several high schools in Jakarta,” she said.
At least five state high schools - namely SMA 21, SMA 81, SMA 26, SMA 13 and SMA 112 - are taking part in the program that runs until Wednesday. About 400 high school students are to attend half-day workshops on hoax verification and social media ethics.
“This digital literacy program is very crucial amidst the huge stream of information spurred by advanced digital technology nowadays,” the Post’s editor-in-chief Nezar Patria remarked.
"This program is intended to arm the young generation to become smarter in filtering and producing information as they will learn to distinguish any sort of misleading news, such as disinformation and misinformation,” he added.
Thanks to the newly acquired skill sets, the students are to bcomee more proficient in their social media interactions beyond geographical boundaries. “At the end of the day, we may expect them to be more creative and productive in using digital technology as a platform to study and create things more healthily,” he said.
The Post’s team of journalists and social media managers conduct the training sessions, which were organized by the Jakarta Post Foundation in partnership with the Jakarta chapter of the Teacher Guidance and Counseling Consultation (MGBK) association.
"These series of training sessions are just a baby step before the foundation is to soon roll out larger digital proficiency initiatives, involving a wider range of stakeholders," the foundation's chairman, Bambang Trisno Sejati, said. "We have been upgrading and updating all our programs to keep up with the current needs of the public and the changing trends in our society."
Among the foundation's main programs are the establishment of "digital newsrooms" and the provision of mentoring to those content creators to allow the institutions to better engage and influence their audiences or readers.
Established in November 2007, the foundation aims to promote innovative, creative education for Indonesian youth. The philanthropic arm of the Post cooperates with governments, organizations, business communities and committed individuals to help the country's youth obtain the knowledge, skills and information needed to excel in this era of globalization.
Since its inception, it has been serving more than 4,000 students and teachers in schools across Indonesia.
MGBK Jakarta chairwoman Ester Damanik said she hoped the program would be expanded to other schools.
“Hopefully, more schools across the country can enjoy this digital proficiency program in the near future,” said Ester, who also a member of the association’s national board.
The association has been operating for 12 years with all counselors from elementary to high school nationwide as its members. (dmr)