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March 3, 2023

Training-of-Trainers (ToT) Program to Address Disinformation and Promote Media Literacy for AsTEN

Singapore, March 2 According to 2022 figures, Southeast Asia has 460 million  internet users, 100 million which are newly online in the past three years. Despite numerous benefits, the proliferation of misinformation and disinformation fueled by social media, pose a growing threat to secure and stable societies within the ASEAN region and beyond. Educators, along with parents and caregivers, are at the frontline of battling these false narratives and are searching for tools to teach youth how to recognize these messages to stop the spread of false information. 

To help people learn to recognize and avoid false narratives on online platforms, the ASEAN-USAID Partnership for Regional Optimization within the Political-Security and Socio-Cultural Communities (PROSPECT) project, implemented by the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) is collaborating with ASEAN and the Association of Southeast Asian Teacher Education Network (AsTEN) to develop and share media literacy education resources in an effort to counter disinformation.  

During a March 1-2 training-of-trainers (ToT) event, hosted by Singapore’s National Institute of Education, sixteen AsTEN representatives discussed how to tailor the ASEAN-endorsed ToT Program to Address Disinformation and Promote Media Literacy: Toolkit for Educators for practical usage among different educational institutions, level of studies, and languages within ASEAN countries. The development and dissemination of the ToT program, launched in January 2022 with USAID-support, is designed to better equip secondary- and tertiary-level educators to strengthen students’ critical thinking skills to counter disinformation and misinformation. 

Recognizing the diverse education landscapes across ASEAN member states, the need for localization is paramount. Six alumni from the pilot ToT program held last May-June 2022 were also invited to share how they are currently using the curriculum in their ministries, and illuminate key takeaways and lessons learned in localizing and implementing the ToT program.  The ToT program is designed as an open-source tool that is tailorable to accommodate multiple languages and needs for various national-level clientele across the region. For example in Indonesia, ToT program alumni produced a localized version of the toolkit socialized to educators at a national virtual webinar in November 2022. The Zoom event convened 900 participants and harnessed a 1,400 viewership on YouTube. 

Since 2020, the ASEAN-USAID PROSPECT project continues to work closely with ASEAN stakeholders to build “social media resilience” and critical thinking skills through media literacy education.  Learn more about USAID ASEAN programs here.