A workshop, endorsing a safer internet environment where technology is used responsibly, was held yesterday at Sir Abdool Raman Osman State College, Phoenix, in the context of Safer Internet Day (SID) 2018. The Minister of Technology, Communication and Innovation, Mr Yogida Sawmynaden, and the Minister of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research, Mrs Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun, were present for the event.
In his opening address, Minister Sawmynaden highlighted the overarching place which the Internet holds in the daily lives of people. Along with the positive aspects of internet usage, there are risks to safety and exposure of illegal content, he pointed out.
He stated that children and young people are among the most vulnerable groups which are exposed to dangers such as cyber bullying and online predators while using the Internet and other digital technologies. One of the key risks of using the Internet, email or chat rooms is the exposure to inappropriate material which may be pornographic, hateful, violent, dangerous or illegal, he emphasised. Moreover, Mr Sawmynaden highlighted the importance of sensitising the younger generation on the proper usage of internet.
For her part, the Minister of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research, Mrs Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun, underlined that technological innovation is vital but learners should also know how to use the Internet in the best and safest way possible. She recalled that various actions are being initiated to provide additional technological devices in schools for learners to make the most of a wide array of learning resources online. The Education Minister urged the youth to become the digital ambassadors of Mauritius and to avoid falling prey to cyber dangers.
The workshop and SID-related activities
The workshop was organised by the Computer Emergency Response Team of Mauritius (CERT-MU) in collaboration with the Ministry of Technology, Communication and Innovation and the Ministry of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research.
Additionally, CERT-MU is organising several activities to mark SID 2018 as from the month of February. These are: awareness sessions on Internet Safety for Secondary School students in Mauritius and Rodrigues; awareness sessions on internet safety for parents, grandparents and housewives through the National Computer Board's cyber caravans and Community Welfare Centres; training of teachers on the use of social media such as Facebook; and distribution of leaflets on internet safety and cyber security issues.
A dedicated website (sid.ncb.mu) has also been developed, where various information can be obtained related to the workshop and related activities.
Safer Internet Day 2018
The SID, annually observed on 06 February, is an international education and awareness-raising effort spanning in more than 100 countries around the world. The aim is to promote positive opportunities online while encouraging safe and responsible behavior. The theme retained this year is "Create, connect and share respect: A better internet starts with you.