The latest Democratic School Chatroom, held on 11 March 2021, was all about stressing the importance of critical thinking skills which is one of the competences outlined in the Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture.
It becomes of crucial significance in these times of frequent fake news and information disorder that pose an unprecedented threat to modern democratic societies. That is why a group of 24 students from secondary schools in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia were tasked with employing their critical thinking and analytical skills, conducting research, and finding out which information had been manipulated, and which was true. A media literacy expert who moderated this event, introduced the students to methodologies, strategies and online tools, in particular with regard to photo forensics. It was both a fun and a tough task for these secondary school students.
“I didn’t know it was this easy to manipulate photos” and “I will check everything before reposting on social media” were just some of the comments students made during this event. They concluded that this is was a very important topic and it should be taught in schools, especially to younger generations.
Democratic School Chatrooms are a regional initiative started by the “Quality education for all” actions from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia. The goal of these chatrooms is to acquaint students with competences for democratic culture through topics that are relevant to them. So far, the actions have organised five chatrooms on topics such as the challenges of online learning, human rights, empathy and a culture of non-violence in the school environment.
The action “Quality education for all” is implemented under the joint European Union/Council of Europe programme “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey 2019-2022”.