If you can’t Beat Them, Join Them: ATransformative Model for Engaging and Uplifting
Nigerian Youth Through Digital Media Literacy.

Professor Obiajulu A. Emejulu, FNIPR
Head, Language and Communication Department
Directorate of General Studies
Federal University of Technology Owerri

While still struggling to come to terms with its deepening literacy deficit and catch up with advanced literate countries ofthe World through improvement in basic literacy development and other attempts to achieve the Education for All (EFA) milestones, the Nigerian society suddenly finds itself floundering in the deep and wide ocean ofthe digital age and globalization in which its massive youth population is enthralled and overwhelmed by the New (Social) Media ofCommunication and losing grip ofthe lifeline of sastainable literacy development. This paper attempts to put this evolving phenomenon in clearer, sharper relief than hitherto has been the case in public discuss. It also suggests tantalizing, game—changing options and models for turning the monster and putting it instead at the service ofsustainable education for all and national development and peace. This involves working with educators and school teachers to establish global learning spaces: youth media, creative fora (youth camps) and learning labs inside K—SS3-tertiary (K-l2} schools and non-formal education centres in Nigeria. It is a model for engaging youth in reading and writing through creative thinking, collaboration and community involvement through the instrumentality of digital media.

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