He added that negative behaviors, such as spreading of hoaxes, bullying, and gender-based harassment, are emerging on social media.
“And what makes me concerned is many negative behaviors on social media involving students, either as actors or victims,” Makarim stated.
Hence, the minister said he has decided to work with Twitter to help improve digital literacy among the younger generation. To this end, an agreement was signed by the ministry’s acting secretary general, Ainun Na’im, and Twitter's chief representative for Asia Pacific, Jakarta office, Agung Yudhawiranata.
“I hope that the education on social media literacy for young generations would help strengthen the character and form the Pancasila-profile students,” said Na’im after signing the cooperation agreement.
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Educating students at junior high school level on social media use is a good move and is in line with the character-building of Pancasila students, he noted.
“Being wise in using social media at early ages will shape good character, especially in developing critical thinking, creativity, the ability to work together, (building) self-esteem, and (inculcating) respect for others, and empathy,” he highlighted.
Through the collaboration with Twitter, a syllabus and learning module on social media literacy will be developed for students, teachers, and educational workers at SMP level. Also, education support on social media literacy will be provided to SMP students who represent the average age of novice social media users, he added.
Kemendikbudristek has lauded the private sector for providing support and cooperation for advancing national education.
“We welcome this collaboration. Hopefully, this will give positive impacts for all citizens of education,” he remarked.
Meanwhile, Yudhawiranata acknowledged that social media literacy has emerged as a problem in Indonesia. The age limit for users of Twitter and other social media platforms is 13 years, he noted.
“The main objective of Twitter is to facilitate public conversation. We are present to create a safe space in order that people can search for information, find various perspectives, and brainstorm with anyone else from all over the world,” he said.
With the increasing gap in social media literacy, which has become a challenge in Indonesia, as well as digital literacy, which is yet to become a part of the formal curriculum, he expressed the hope that the cooperation between the ministry and Twitter would help Indonesian youths to easily navigate digital platforms. (INE)
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