On February 12-14, the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) held six intellectual games among students of Osh, Batken and Jalal-Abad regions. The events were attended by 270 people, including students, schoolchildren and active youth.
Intellectual games started with the presentation of media literacy expert Ikbol Isakov, who conducted a quick test using the Plickers video materials. The students were faced with the task of determining the reliability of the video. Frequently distributed videos were taken as examples, such as “one of the PRC leaders converted to Islam,” “Chinese students spread the virus with pills,” etc. According to the results, the participants reflected and argued in favor of a particular answer. Media trainer Ikbol Isakov shared fake information detection tools
“Firstly, everything needs to be called into question. You cannot blindly believe . Do not be afraid to ask questions! Secondly, when you eat, do you choose what to eat, or eat everything? The same approach should be to the consumption and dissemination of information, ”Isakov summarized.
The second presentation was made by the head of the analytic department of the State Commission for Religious Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic Gulnaz Isaeva. She was telling about the religious diversity of Kyrgyzstan and about the representation of religious organizations in the interfaith council of the Kyrgyz Republic. She also dwelt in detail on issues of religious freedom and the laws governing this area. The emphasis was on understanding secularism and the role of the state in building a bridge between religious and secular institutions.
“I want to note that young people have a very good level of knowledge and understanding of secularism. However, not everyone fully understands it. Secularism is not atheism. Not the state is separated from religion, but power. We need to clearly understand that it is necessary to build effective relations between government agencies and religious organizations to ensure freedom of religion and secular principles, ”Isaeva emphasized.
Following the presentations, the project coordinator Ilkhom Umarakhunov invited the participants to test their knowledge of the religious diversity of Kyrgyzstan, understanding of religious freedom and secular principles. The test included 26 questions. Each team consisted of 5-6 people. Questions were discussed collectively. The entire test was allocated 20 minutes. At the end, teams were exchanging response forms and were checking each other.
“Religious tolerance and tolerance in general are impossible without the adoption of diversity. Our goal was to promote the right to freedom of religion and understanding of the secular model of the Kyrgyz Republic. Students showed high activity and interest. Through their channels, they distributed the information about the games and we received requests to conduct additional events in other cities of Osh and Jalal-Aabad regions, ”says Umarakhunov.
“I gained a lot of knowledge. It’s a pity that we couldn’t take the first place, but the main thing is that today we are leaving with an understanding of how to prevent religious conflicts, not to spread provocative videos and verify information, ”said Askhat Koldoshev, a student at the Kyzyl-Kyi Mining College
“Everything went so interesting and informative. It was interesting not only to me but to all participants. I liked the session on media literacy, I learned a lot about religious minorities in Kyrgyzstan, ”said Aizhamal Baimuratova, a student at Osh State University.