Local ownership to design training of trainers processes

25 May, 2018
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 “Though we have many experienced journalists in our training center, we are not systematically equipped with knowledge and skills on conducting trainings,” said Le Hong Ky, a Vietnamese journalist and trainer for Online Archive and Press Assistance Center (OAPAC). He said he got a better understanding on how to design, manage and deliver future trainings for his training center.

For Aye Aye Zin, a media trainer from Myanmar Journalism Institute (MJI), the best part of the training was to have a chance of networking, and learning experience with the journalists from Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam in one place. “Normally, we only know our local cases and practices. Here, we get to know various cases those are different from our local experiences, and learn how media trainers from other countries prepare for their courses.”

“There are so many interesting points in the training. But, the most important point I will take back is how to identify knowledge, skill, and attitude for our trainees,” said Him Khortieth, a senior project manager of Cambodia Center for Independent Media (CCIM).

Participants sharing their thoughts on the “Training for Trainers in Designing Journalism Courses” conducted by Fojo Media Institute’s Southeast Asia Media Training Network (SEAMTN). The training hosted 11 participants (4 women and 7 men) from Fojo Media Institute’s partners organisations—Cambodia Centre for Independent Media (CCIM), Vietnamese Journalists Training Center (VJTC), Online Archive for Press Assistant Center (OAPAC), Myanmar Journalists Institute (MJI), and Institute of Mass Media, Culture, and Tourism (IMCT). The training was conducted in Bangkok, Thailand from May 07-11.

Then Mos from Cambodia Center for Independent Media (CCIM) presenting preparation-points on training handbook
Then Mos from Cambodia Center for Independent Media (CCIM) presenting preparation-points on training handbook.

The training aimed to provide space, knowledge, and interactive engagement with experts for the participants to learn, express and exchange individuals and groups’ knowledge. From this learners-focused-engagement, participants expected to co-create and design the curricula, which were relevant for regional and local issues and contexts.

Jaldeep Katwala, the Project Manager said, “It’s important to bring local partners into the early stages of designing courses for trainers. That way they can truly take ownership of the process and feel they are shaping their own destiny rather than following what international donors want”.

The 5-day training was facilitated by three trainers; Kevin Burden, Naomi Goldsmith, and Johanna Son, who have extensive regional and international experiences in both news reporting and training skills, with the sense of gender awareness on every issue. The training was discussed within the framework of 7-steps planning towards the targeted goals.

The training included various activities: discussion, planning and production of sample training outlines, review, and feedback, mock interviews and role-play on handling tough students and class environment. The participants presented their training manuals, which born out of their discussions.

At the end, every participant gave their feedback through video interviews on the learning process.

Participants’ reflections focused on setting their objectives on how to ensure knowledge, skills, and attitude shifts in their targeted trainees. Him Khortieth, a senior project manager of CCIM, mentioned that the first round of SEAMTN’s training was “pushing” in 2017. For this year, it has started “pulling” knowledge, skills and resources by extracting the best from our partners, and allowing them to further collaborate with each other.

Su Myat Wai, a trainer from MJI and 3 times participant for SEAMTN trainings, expressed how her network has extended with friends from ASEAN countries as well as the international consultants through the SEAMTN project. Besides, the learning process also provided her with case-studies and problem-solving mechanisms from other SEA countries, which were very useful for any trainers in the region.

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Vietnamese group in discussion and preparation for their training module.

SEAMTN has conducted a series of workshops and training for the partners since October 2017 and some trainees joined more than once in those trainings. This was the third time for both Su Myat and Khortieth joining training organized by SEAMTN—Leadership and Management, Journalism in Smartphone Age, Gender Course Design and Auditing, and Training for Trainers Course. As a trainer, Su Myat felt significant benefits from every course, which she has learned and grown much confident from problem solving perspectives, to providing advice on MJI’s Gender Policy, and improving her skills on planning and communication internally and externally. As a project manager, Khortieth gained deeper understanding towards facilitation, planning and administering potential risks in the activities he has organized.

Besides, SEAMTN has provided “Experts’ In-house Mentoring Trips” to the partners’ countries for additional supports and resources, so that the partners can request their special needs relevant to their countries and organizational contexts. All of these were integral inputs from SEAMTN for the partners’ ongoing and upcoming trainings in their respective countries.

In April and May of 2018, SEAMTN has successfully conducted “Training Course Development Workshop”, “Gender Course Design and Gender Auditing”, and “Training for Trainers in Designing Journalism Courses”. The project will host its upcoming training on “Cyber Security and Field Safety” and “Training Needs Assessment” in July.

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