Play teaches pupils to be cyber smart

2015-10-08 06:00
PHOTO nokulunga ngobese

Sane Mbatha (seated) with Grade 6 and Grade 7 pupils from Caluza Primary School after            staging a play at the school last week.

PHOTO nokulunga ngobese Sane Mbatha (seated) with Grade 6 and Grade 7 pupils from Caluza Primary School after staging a play at the school last week.

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PROMPTED by seeing a video on what children get up to behind their parent’s backs on social networks, assistant life skills and English teacher at Caluza Primary School, Saneliswe Mbatha last week staged a play to raise awareness about the dangers of social networks among children.

Having previously worked for the Film andamp; Publication board, Mbatha, who holds a Bachelor of Social Science degree in community development, media and cultural studies, is a volunteer at the school and an aspiring script writer. On a mission to educate pupils and parents about the impact of social networks through drama, she put together a play titled Be Street Smart and Be Cyber Smart, which was screened at the school last Thursday.

Mbatha said through the play she wanted to educate children about teenage pregnancies, peer pressure, human trafficking, drug and substance abuse and sex.

“With everything becoming digital, even children have access to smart phones. Parents make a huge mistake of not monitoring what their children get up to online. After watching a video of a man who wanted to show parents what their children were getting up to on social networks, I realised that children are vulnerable. The man, who is old enough to be their fathe,r would chat with them, and invite them to meet him at a park, and at the same time would also call their parents to be present so they could see that they were responding to his conversations.

“Children are exposed to various things, including paedophiles on social networks. Human trafficking is rife in this country, and some cases are linked to social networks. Children chat to people whom they have never met, and eventually meet them without the knowledge of their parents. They are exposed to sugar daddies who promise to buy them nice things.”

Mbatha said it is important for parents to monitor what their children do online, whether it is who they are chatting to, what kind of friends they have, what kind of language is used and what kind of photos they have on their cellphones.

Teacher Ntombifuthi Phoswa said the play is important as children as young as 12 are already in relationships. Mbatha said she is looking for more platforms where she can educate children and parents about being cyber smart

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