Safer Internet Day “Connecting generations and educating each other”-Education department and partners discuss internet safety


PS Delcy (photo right) addressing the delegates during the forum to commemorate Safer Internet Day

Education, Employment and Human Resources Minister Macsuzy Mondon, education principal secretary Merida Delcy, other ministry officials, and representatives from other partners – Cable & Wireless Seychelles (CWS) and the department of information communication and technology (DICT) – took part in the forum organised by the department of education.

The theme for this year’s safer internet day was ‘Connecting generations and educating each other’, while the slogan was ‘Discover the digital world together... safely!’.

Through the theme, those who took part explored the increase of the online world across all generations and cultures and encouraged families to work together to stay safe online.

Those who took part listened to various presentations on internet safety and security at home and in the work place.   
The DICT and Cable & Wireless – two partners of the department of education – made presentations on the aims of promoting the importance of being safe and staying safe online.

In her opening address, principal secretary Delcy said that while the ministry and its partners may have regulations and control in schools, educators and parents can also help by ensuring the child has constant supervision while online, ensuring there are restrictions on the internet settings, and most importantly, through discussions about the risks involved.
“We all have a role to play in ensuring that every child is safe online,” she said. 

“Whatever the age difference, each person has something different to bring to the table that can help shape our online experiences and our understanding of online competences and safety.

She added that although the internet is a fantastic tool for our children to use we have to be vigilant in keeping our children safe so that it is a tool they use and enjoy. 

She called on everyone to renew the effort and commitment to protect our children and youths from the risks and dangers that internet can bring.

The internet has changed the way children interact with the world, yet while offering a fascinating, new way to connect with the world, the internet also offers new risks.

The aim of the forum was to help students and teachers learn about these risks and ways to stay safe online, so they could share the knowledge with their friends, families and colleagues. 

Students of all ages are now exposed to the internet

The presentations covered a range of safety precautions and risks involved when using the internet; how to keep personal information secure and the importance of having restrictions.

The team from Cable & Wireless gave a brief history of the company and the services it offers, especially to the department of education and the different educational institutions. 

Velma Cafrine of Cable & Wireless then explained the importance of keeping personal information, such as photos and posts that can easily attract hackers or malicious users, to a minimum on social network sites.

The second part of the presentation by Kitson Agathine also of Cable & Wireless was about the different types of viruses and applications that can easily affect computers and create inconveniences for users, such as copying your personal details or using your e-mail address to send malicious or spam mail to your contacts.   
The audience had the opportunity to ask questions at the end of the presentation and was given advice on how to report and watch out for dishonest users on social network sites.

The presentation by the DICT was centered on the government network and the role it plays in keeping information on the government network safe.

Rosana Ernesta of the DICT explained the different mechanisms in place that help to keep confidential information in the work place safe.
She also pointed out that although there are many sites that are blocked to help with safety and security, some considerations can be given for requests to unblock sites depending on the necessity and authenticity of the requests.

In her presentation, Ms Ernesta gave the audience some guidelines on how to identify sites that are secure and authentic.

As part of the education process, the department of education showed a short animated video and a video clip of a song about the risks and safety precautions while using the internet at home.

During the discussions, minister Mondon emphasised that the department of education, with the support of its partners, will continue in its effort to ensure that students in schools have access to internet in a safe manner. 

She also pointed out that there is a need to reach the parents and to educate them on the importance of safe internet use at home, where children have unrestricted access through mobile phones and other devices.

The department of education also called on all its partners for support in its task to educate parents and the community on the importance of keeping children safe on the internet. 

Cheryl Philoé, a primary teacher from La Rosière school who attended the forum, said the topic was interesting and felt such sessions should be done in schools for students.

The two students from La Rosière school said they learned a few things they did not know about the risks on social network sites and viruses.

The organisers hope that in the future they can also have similar sessions in schools during professional development sessions for teachers.

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