|Officials from UNESCO and Rex & Friends, a Chinese online learning company, shake hands during their cooperation signing ceremony in Beijing earlier this week. [For chinadaily.com.cn]|
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO, signed a cooperation agreement with Rex & Friends, the Beijing-based online learning platform for children, to further enrich the country's educational market.
This agreement focuses on the exponential growth of information in the current era and on the information security challenges faced by children online, and also aims to help children improve their ability to view and use media and the internet correctly and appropriately.
As people today are living in a world with a dramatic increase in access to information and communication, the mode of knowledge acquisition is vastly different from those of previous generations, and the internet has undoubtedly become a nucleus of information, said Marielza Oliveira, director of UNESCO's Beijing cluster office and UNESCO representative to China, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Japan, Mongolia and Republic of Korea.
It is thus of pivotal necessity to improve people's competencies to interact with media, technologies and information, so that they can be engaged in societies as critical-thinking citizens, she added.
Under this partnership, more than 10,000 children, parents and teachers in China will be able to increase their understanding and level of media and information literacy, or MIL, via various online learning and social media platforms.
Because China has a well-developed digital technology network and mature user group, it has better infrastructure to improve people's competencies to interact with media, technologies, and information, she said, noting it is a fresh experience for UNESCO to work with a popular online learning platform to promote children's knowledge in the area of MIL.
The year of 2020 has been an extraordinary one for mankind. While an unexpected global pandemic has disrupted our lives and profoundly impacted all sectors, it has also given birth to greater opportunities for online education, according to a statement released by Rex & Friends.
Although schools were shut down during the COVID-19 outbreak, students across all countries kept up with their studies through online learning. In many regions, online education has become the only way for many households to stay informed during this challenging time.
As part of this cooperation, Rex & Friends and UNESCO will co-produce 10 picture books accompanied by 10 animated video episodes, which will be made available free of charge. Their goal is to present MIL courses in a direct and vivid form that appeals to children, helping them become more competent in MIL, according to the Chinese firm.
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