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Programmes with good values vital for children’s growth, says expert

September 10, 2014
3 minutes read
Programmes with good values vital for children’s growth, says expert

KUALA LUMPUR: The majority of children’s programmes are commercially driven and not educational, said children’s TV and media consultant Dr Patricia Edgar.

“These less creative and cheaply produced programmes are made for entertainment with the intention to sell their merchandise.

“An effective educational programme is about good values, constructive messages and most importantly, contains local elements to help the social and emotional development of children.

“It is very important that children learn about their own cultures,” said the former director of Australian Children’s Television Foundation, who has produced numerous award-winning children’s shows.

Dr Edgar was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the 7th World Summit on Media for Children here yesterday.

Some 1,000 producers, broadcasters, media regulators, educators and community leaders from 61 countries are attending the three-day event, which began on Monday.

It is the first time that the summit, which Dr Edgar started, was being held in Asia – home to two billion children, which is about 80% of the world’s children.

Dr Edgar said it was important for children to understand the “real world” and to be taught the correct way to deal with problems rather than overprotect them and let them live in a fancy world.

Interesting storylines, strong characters with humorous and touching plots were among the elements in programmes that appealed to children, she said.

Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, the patron of the summit, urged those in the field to conduct more research to promote quality programming, better policy guidelines and better direction for the protection of the media for children.

Rosmah said in her opening speech that programmes for children should be designed to build know­ledge while teaching them valuable lessons about living in a multi-racial and multi-religious community.

Rosmah, who is the wife of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, urged parents to guide their children towards safe, balanced and responsible use of technology by familiarising themselves with the “new media”.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said he hoped for a mechanism to monitor the negative influence of information technology (IT) on children.

“We hope that there is inter­national consensus on efforts to check child pornography and violent programmes so that children are not influenced.

“(This will also help) parents to control their children’s use of IT,” he added.


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