Fake news

Published Date: 08 May 2017 12:00 AM

News Parliamentary Replies

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Mr Pritam Singh, Aljunied GRC

Question

To ask the Minister for Education (Schools) (a) whether there are programmes to teach students how to discern fake news; (b) if so, how are the programmes designed and rolled out; and (c) if not, whether there are plans to develop and roll out such programmes in a specific timeline.

Response

1. “Communication, Collaboration and Information Skills” is one set of the 21st century competencies that MOE develops in our students. It includes the development of information literacy, which refers to the ability to create digital products, connect with others to learn and work with digital information, and curate digital resources and critically discern its authenticity.

2. In schools, information literacy is infused into a variety of subjects like English, History and Social Studies where there are lessons that teach students to critically evaluate different sources of information, both online and offline during information search. Teachers guide students in distinguishing fact from opinion, applying logic and verifying the authority of sources. Students are taught to cross-check the information and views presented with other sources to determine their trustworthiness and usefulness for drawing substantiated conclusions.

3. Information literacy is also taught in the Cyber Wellness syllabus for primary and secondary schools as part of the Character and Citizenship Education curriculum. Students are nurtured to be safe and responsible users of digital space by learning how to verify the credibility and authenticity of online information sources and refraining from sharing unverified posts.

4. To further reinforce the learning from the Cyber Wellness lessons, schools are provided with timely teaching and learning resources on the latest cyber trends and issues which include real-life case-studies and tips to raise awareness on online misinformation. Teachers, for instance, are given tips on how to nurture students to be discerning of the things they read online to avoid falling prey to scams and fake news. Schools are also regularly provided with CW resources to engage parents as our partners to educate their child to be discerning users of digital space.

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