Lawmaker wants kids to learn fact-checking
MANILA, Philippines — Parañaque City Rep. Gus Tambunting wants students to be trained on how to fact-check online content, particularly on social media, and identify fake news or misinformation from what they see on the internet.
Tambunting said that by filing House Bill No. 4690 or the proposed Media and Information Literacy Act, he hopes to introduce a subject on media and information literacy in the basic education curriculum.
This should “encourage responsible, productive and ethical use of the internet” among students, he said.
The measure has been referred to the House committee on basic education and culture.
Task for DepEd
If his bill is passed, Tambunting said, the proposed subject will be “incorporated as essential components in the teaching of core subjects and enrichment activities for the students.”
“The measure aims to incorporate into their daily learning routine exercises [on] content analysis, fact-checking, and information validation, among others, that will be useful as they deal with the overwhelming amount of information online,” he added.
Also according to the bill, the Department of Education (DepEd) would be tasked to submit to Congress an annual report on its review of the media and information literacy program.
“Through this proposed measure, we hope to develop a generation of creative and critical thinkers and dynamic participants in our democratic processes,” Tambunting said.
Fact-checking project Tsek.PH had earlier pointed out that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s campaign in this year’s general elections had benefited the most from disinformation on the internet and social media.
If enacted, the proposed law would help fight disinformation by introducing among students “activities and exercises about source verification, content validation and analysis, fact-checking, information appreciation and comprehension, among others,” said Tambunting, who backed Marcos in the election campaign.
He said his bill sought to “reestablish social media, through education, as powerful platforms for intellectual exchange of ideas, sources of empowering information, and meaningful discourse, rather than channels of hatred, disunity and confusion.”
Media and information literacy would “promote active citizenship, respect for others, sociocultural diversity and honesty; train and develop creative and critical thinking, and encourage responsible use of online platforms,” Tambunting said.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.