Let us encourage children to imagine

Muscat, Feb 26 – As part of the Muscat International Book Fair 2019, a seminar on children and the future media was organised at the Children’s Public Library on Tuesday by the Ministry of Information and Unicef. The opening session of the seminar was inaugurated by Dr Sayyidah Muna bint Fahd bin Mahmoud al Said, Assistant Vice-Chancellor of SQU for International Cooperation, in the presence of Dr Abdulmunim bin Mansour al Hasani, Minister of Information, under-secretaries, members of the Organising Committee of Muscat International Book Fair, officials and students.
“This seminar is an attempt to think about the future through many stakeholders, including writers and publishers,” said the Minister of Information. Dr Sayyidah Muna said: “In light of the tremendous acceleration in the world, we are facing a great deal of data, news and information in all aspects of life, which requires us to contemplate the role of media in our daily lives.
The two-day seminar discussed media and children issues through six papers. The first session began by a paper by Dr Waffa al Mazgani, who talked about how to motivate authors of children books to come up with better works. Dr Amer al Aysari, Head of Pre-School Education Department, Ministry of Education, talked about “the role of media in development of citizenship in children”. He emphasised that instilling values of citizenship among children is a priority of the media. “Children should be aware of the challenges faced by the community to prepare themselves for their roles in the future. Family, school, mosques along with all media are responsible of developing the values on citizenship in children.”
The third paper was given by Dr Waffa al Shamsi, a poet, on children’s stories and programmes and their contribution in writing them. She pointed out that children should be trained on creative writing through a number of strategies. “We need to encourage children to imagine. We need to know what our children want and never force them to do anything against their will.”
Other papers were presented by Suha al Ruqaishi on media and its role in forming child’s attitude, Rashid al Saadi on TV programmes, and Samah Abu Baker on children’s stories and how they relate to social media platforms.
Workshops on protecting children from electronic blackmail and story telling for children were also held.