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Pass it on
Submitted by Vanitha Nadaraj on 30 July 2012
Eight months ago Shamsullo Mirzoev started an English language newsletter called The New Page In Rasht for young people in Rasht Valley in his country Tajikistan.
The newsletter carries articles on Tajik history, culture and tradition, and on human rights, youth empowerment and civil liberties, among others.
Now that Mirzoev has learnt debate principles and technics at the Youth in the 21st Century: Debating and Producing Media, he plans to share them through his newsletter and also to young leaders in the programme he is involved in.
“We have about 100 children in our Young Leaders Program in the Rasht Valley and they need to know how to debate,” says the 25-year-old. The children are aged between 13 and 16.
“I want the students to be active in talking about issues in Tajikistan. Debate will get them to understand problems and issues better and to make them active members in our community.
“They will also know how to speak in public, how to ask questions and prepare them to give positive input in community,” he adds.
“It is education like this that will change a community,” says Mirzoev.
Building confidence through documentary photography
Elbek Elmuradov feels debate will teach children to do research while documentary photography helps build self-confidence in the children.
“I mentor six ‘contract students’ in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. These are children who’ve been sponsored by organisations or individuals to study,” adds the 21-year-old.
He and his friends are presently working on a website project specially for Uzbek youth to equip them for higher education and also to teach them how to interact.
Tools for lecturers
University lecturers Umida Boltayeva and Zhanna Akhmetova say they want to use the teaching style at the debate and media camp in their classes.
“I’ll get my students to go out and do activities just like how we went to the bazaar to get stories,” says Boltayeva, a 26-year-old English lecturer from Uzbekistan.
“I would like them to create or produce content on their own and this will increase confidence. And they will remember their university days,” she adds.
Ahmetova, who teaches analytical reading in cultural communication, finds the media literacy class beneficial for her students.
“I did not know how to prepare my students to be critical to news articles, as critical thinking is one of primary goals of university education. Now, I’ll be able to help them by getting them good articles for them to read and posting information that I’ve learnt from this camp in my blog,” says the 25-year-old from Kazakhstan.
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