Deputy Minister plays part in building safer internet communities

2017-06-08 06:01

THE Deputy Minister of Communications, Thandi Mahambehlala (MP), together with the Film and Publication Board (FPB), engaged the community of Uitenhage on safer online usage as part of her Child Protection Week programmes on June 2 in the Allanridge Civic Centre.

Child Protection Week took place from May 28 to June 4.

This year the FPB are encouraging learners, parents, guardians and educators to play their part in protecting children by building safer online communities with the theme “Stronger Communities, Safer Children”.

The theme emphasises the importance of and value of connected communities in keeping children and young people safe and well.

The campaign aims to provide communities and individuals with practical information on how to ‘Play Your Part’ in protecting children and also to instil primary prevention of messages into social discourse.

The campaign will also provide a platform for communities to be empowered, resourced and mobilised to take action at a local level, as is the take of Mmberegeni Dzebu, FPB’s Acting Chief Executive Officer.

Research has shown that digital streams of media distribution and consumption are gaining popularity in South Africa. Internet access is itself a driver of these trends which is also available through mobile devices including smart phones.

Based on the research that was conducted on the usage of smart devices, the FPB has embarked on awareness campaigns to mitigate the technology divide in disadvantaged communities, and among the youth, which has had both positive outcomes and challenges.

The FPB will be engaging with various schools as a build up to the main event. Learners from the 12 schools will be encouraged to play a big role in ensuring a safer internet community.

The FPB outreach team will also share information with the learners on how they can enjoy the multiple benefits offered by the internet.

The main event on June 2 included interactive group sessions on internet safety with guardians, educators and learners, as well as a Walkathon where the youth was to be mobilised to practise living in a safer internet environment. The youth, parents and educators were encouraged to pledge and encourage one another to practise safer internet activities. The theme for the Walkathon was “Be the change, Unite for a better internet”.


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