9 February 2016

Kenya: Safer Internet Day - Digital Literacy Plays Crucial Role in Internet Safety

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Every 9th February, the world celebrates Safer Internet Day (SID) to promote safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile devices, especially among children and young people.

Safer Internet Day (SID), an online event, is organised by the joint Insafe/INHOPE network, with the support of the European Commission

From cyber bullying to social networking, each year Safer Internet Day ("SID") aims to raise awareness of emerging online issues through events and activities and chooses a topic reflecting current concerns.

For SID 2016, the focus of the day (Tuesday 9 February 2016) is "Play your part for a better internet", reflecting the fact that we all have a role to play.

One of the ways educators in Kenya are playing their part is by endowing young people with skills to navigate and tap into technology. These young curious minds are at a formative stage of skill acquisition but are full of energy and passion that can give birth to

amazing innovation for Kenya.

SOCIAL PILLAR

Kenya's future as a nation is continuously being translated through Vision 2030 which aims to transform Kenya into a self sufficient nation by the year 2030. The part that people play is supported by the social pillar through which the government and civil

society seeks ways Kenyans can find keys to social problems. Each pillar in the Vision 2030 manifesto is interlinked by the influence of technology.

We are now citizens of the global village thanks to the internet. As adults, part of our challenge is that we were not brought up in the sphere of sophisticated technology that our children presently reside in and as custodians of their internet experience we may inadvertently limit them.

Inculcating a culture of responsible e-citizenship in our Kenyan youth has begun through various noble efforts, one of them being to make them be a part of creation of online content for youth by the youth; thus enriching their user experience.

Post Secondary institutions are churning out youth to the labour force every day who face challenges when they experience unemployment. Sustainable opportunities can be created by providing platforms that can use technology as leverage to create efficiency

while advancing social impact in our communities.

We can play our part by igniting the curiosity of our youth in digital literacy through exposure to coding platforms in Kenya. The Internet of Things is gradually reshaping our lives through automation of processes and therefore involving our youth in the

development of the smart objects that will be part of our future should begin now.

The writer is the Founder of Simba-Safe Kenya, a Personal Safety Education Programme (PSE) for children.

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