Date of the Event: 04-05-2021

The Forum entitled Childrens Programmes and the Challenge of Values comes to an end

The participants at the Forum entitled “Children’s Programmes and Challenge of Values” organised by the General Authority for Islamic Affairs and Endowments online over two days as part of the UAE President Guest Scholars’ Programmes for Ramadan, discussed the theme “Making Media Content for Children between Reality and Hope” presenting insights and suggestions inspired by their specialisations and academic and empirical expertise in this domain. For his part, HE Abdul-Aziz Al-Musallam, chairman of Sharjah Institute for Heritage, stressed the importance of the media content presented to children for its impact throughout time and its direct influence on the attitudes and values. He said that the huge number of children’s programmes on a variety of platforms can have a negative impact on heritage and may contribute to blemishing the local dialect, language, traditions and the national identity, uncovering that there are stereotypes alien to our society that have begun to penetrate the local children programmes. He added that the negative foreign content is easy to reach for each household due to its availability on many television channels, calling on the necessity of increasing the domestic production introduced to children and training technicians specialised in producing local children’s programmes by helping them join courses specialised in heritage, language and thought. Concluding his statement, Dr Al-Musallam said that the Arab heritage is rich in the purposeful content that can be introduced to children as it consists of literature, attitudes and noble values of which our children can be proud, urging the media institutions and specialists to intensify efforts in this field. For his part, Dr Ali Abdul-Kader Al-Hammadi, Director of the Association for the Protection of the Arabic Language, said that the world of childhood is in need of movement, stories and narration, indicating that cartoons have a psychological and value impact on children through the selection of attractive and interesting titles that give adventure and the story meaning and purpose. He also highlighted the chosen characters and their role, in addition to the melody and chants presented at the start and end of the show for their impact on the viewer’s attitudes and values which we strive today to cement, reiterating that there should be standards for the children-oriented media content that is subject to review and scrutiny. For her part, Mrs. Mariam Al-Serrkal, Head of Majid TV at the Abu Dhabi Media Company, emphasised the necessity of understanding the child’s mentality, thinking and aspirations so that we can make a well-studied content able to foster our identity, values and heritage in hearts and minds of the young generations at ease. She also called on the necessity of taking advantage of the modern communicative and media platforms that are now available at fingertips, giving the example of Majid Magazine and the efforts exerted in developing and keeping pace with the civilisational renaissance witnessing the world, and looking forward to the future in dubbing films to reach every corner of the globe and help the other get to know our culture. Eng. Tamer Al-Qasimi, the executive director for special projects Sector and Communication at the Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority (ECA), said that the abundance of media content burdens the family with the responsibility to monitor their children and know the source of the new terms their kids use and their impact on their future, culture and national identity. Concluding his speech, Al-Qasimi highlighted the necessity of rapid response to find the alternatives that may contribute to promoting their skills and sharpening their talents and enhancing the national and ethical values in their hearts and minds, revealing that there is a digital guide that helps families to monitor the content published online with the aim to protect their children from its risks.

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