School children in ASEAN will soon get the opportunity to share their rich and diverse cultures with their peers in other ASEAN countries with the launch of the ASEAN NewsMaker Project. Led by Singapore, this initiative will engage close to 500 primary and secondary school students across the 10 ASEAN countries to produce informational video content which showcases their country's culture and lifestyle. This project is endorsed by the ASEAN Committee on Culture and Information (COCI). The Committee has been supporting projects to nurture talent and promote interaction among ASEAN peoples to help preserve and promote ASEAN's diverse cultural heritage, while fostering regional identity as well as cultivating people's awareness of ASEAN.
The ASEAN NewsMaker Project will begin in Singapore in June before being rolled out to ASEAN member countries. Developed by Singapore media company EyePower Games and supported by the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA), students will utilise the NewsMaker software to learn to produce video clips that touches on aspects of life in their country, ranging from school life to history to food. Soeung Rathchavy, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Socio- Cultural Community told, 'Raising ASEAN awareness amongst the youth is part and parcel of our efforts to build the ASEAN Community by 2015. Using ICT and the media, our youths in the region will get to know ASEAN better, deepening their understanding and appreciation of the cultures, social traditions and values in ASEAN.' Following the launch and training of Singapore students, two trainers from EyePower Games will travel to the remaining nine ASEAN member states to provide a 2-day training on the NewsMaker software. The training will cover the use of the NewsMaker software, video-making technique as well as responsible use of the Internet. The training also aims to help participants to develop their language skills as they will be taught how to effectively narrate and tell a story. In each member state, the project is targeted at 40 students aged between nine to 16 years, as well as their teachers who will take on the role of mentor. These students and teachers will serve as multipliers to provide guidance to the other students in their schools.