Turkish universities champion child rights
More countries expected to follow in promoting responsible news reporting on child rightsGENEVA, March 25 – Six Turkish universities are leading the way in European journalism studies by agreeing to introduce a new child rights syllabus into their degree courses.
UNICEF Central and Eastern Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States Regional Director, Maria Calivis, said: “The rights of children, their right to expression, to have a say in matters affecting them, to have their opinions heard, are all too often either ignored, or unknown, in news issues of the day. This child rights syllabus will provide young journalists with new tools for their profession, we hope, enabling children to be heard and listened to.”
Teaching of the syllabus is scheduled to start in September this year following a series of pedagogy seminars between senior representatives of the six Turkish universities and the creators of the syllabus, the Dublin Institute of Technology.
The latest pedagogy seminar was held last week in Istanbul, during which the Dublin Institute team unveiled a web-based learning platform enabling e-learning to support the Turkish universities and their students.
The child rights syllabus, promoted by UNICEF, has been created, written and designed by the Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland. A technical team composed of the academics from the six Turkish Universities; Istanbul University, Galatasaray University, Gazi University, Ankara University, Anadolu University and Bilgi University are working on adapting the syllabus and learning materials into the Turkish language.
Those studying the syllabus earn credit points recognized within European Union universities. Already, a second wave of universities in eastern European countries has expressed interest in teaching this child rights syllabus and it is hoped the experiences gleaned in Turkey will further refine this exciting development in developing the ethics and standards of journalism.
Last month, a ceremony was held at Galatasaray University, Istanbul, during which a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between each of the universities and UNICEF. UNICEF was represented by Ms Calivis and UNICEF Turkey Representative, Reza Hossaini.
The plan is to roll-out this syllabus in more universities in both Turkey and other countries in central and eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States.
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