Lahore (Muhammad Yasir) Meta, in collaboration with the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), has launched an educational series, ‘Chai Chats’ to create awareness among young Pakistani Facebook users on digital literacy and social cohesion through improved digital experiences. The series features a close-knit group of university friends encountering difficult online situations which they overcome with grace, friendship, and humour to inspire and persuade youth to adopt a positive and responsible online behaviour.
The program aims to reach millions of young Pakistanis online through the web series, as well as 180 secondary school teachers and over 1,000 secondary school students through local community training , which will also train educators in at-risk communities to handle these topics with at-risk communities.
The webisode series ‘Chai Chats’ is centred on the day-to-day online experiences of five university friends and the way they help each other navigate both their online and offline lives, while their different socio-cultural and behavioural dispositions also come into play. The characters and their stories are expected to serve as role models by resonating well with the young audiences.
Commenting on the initiative, Chairman PTA, Maj. Gen (R) Amir Azeem Bajwa, applauded Meta’s efforts. “This initiative will enhance Pakistani youth’s ability to make positive, productive and legitimate use of social media platforms for personal and collective well-being. Meta has been at the forefront of promoting digital literacy through improved digital experiences.” He further said, “The Government of Pakistan is committed to leveraging digital technology to accelerate socio-economic development nationwide and I hope this initiative will prove to be an important stepping stone in this regard.”
Also sharing his thoughts, Ruici Tio, Policy Program Manager, APAC- Meta said,: “The initiative furthers Meta’s long-term commitment to fostering digital literacy in Pakistan and supporting all users to harness the benefits of technological innovation for their growth and socioeconomic advancement. This series aims to engage young Pakistanis in the important discourse of being responsible digital citizens through creative messages to ultimately enable them to use social media platforms for learning and growth. We’re especially grateful to PTA for partnering with us on this important initiative.”
There will be six weekly episodes, with two focusing on each key area, including ‘Think before you act’, ‘Women’s experience online’, ‘Critical Discussions’, and ‘Empathy’. Each episode addresses real problems that people face online every day and are expected to highlight useful ways to overcome difficult online situations. The series will be available at (https://www.facebook.com/chaichatspk/)
The Chai Chats program is also collaborating on a teachers’ training program on digital literacy and empowered behaviours in partnership with Meta’s program partner, Shaoor Foundation. Under Shaoor’s School Program, the curriculum will include Facebook’s existing ‘We Think Digital’ modules and Chai Chats Webisodes. The training will take place in 6 Districts across Pakistan, including Rajanpur, Dera Gazi Khan, and Multan in Southern Punjab and Kohat, Swat, and Banu in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. It aims to reach 180 teachers and over 1,000 students in these communities to enhance their digital and critical thinking skills.