North & East

Ocho Rios Primary students train in online safety

Monday, February 18, 2019

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Forty students from Ocho Rios Primary School in St Ann have been trained to act as online safety monitors, both at school and in their respective communities.

The students, aged seven to 11, participated in a one-day workshop hosted on February 4 by telecommunications firm FLOW , as the company joined the global observation of Safer Internet Day 2019.

FLOW leads the local charge among a key at-risk stakeholder group in the online space – children — a news release from the company said.

During the training sessions, the students were taught the importance of protecting personal information, refusing requests for meeting up with people they meet online, and escalating issues to responsible adults.

Following the workshop, the students completed the UNICEF (United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund) Smart Connect quiz, also available online, which is used worldwide to help students and youth navigate the Internet safely.

Principal at the school, Suzette Barnes-Wilson expressed gratitude to FLOW, noting that the students have now become more aware of the dangers of the online world.

“…We will be allowing them to cascade the information to their peers,” Barnes said.

At the same time, she called on parents to do more to educate their children about safety online.

“Parents buy these devices for the children and many of them are not aware of the dangers online, and so they are not able to help their children,” Barnes-Wilson commented.

In response to this growing concern, more than 250 students in primary schools across the island were trained by the FLOW Foundation over the past two weeks. The FLOW Foundation also partnered with UNICEF to heighten awareness among adolescents and young adults about dangers that lurk in the online space.

Kayon Mitchell, director of corporate communications & stakeholder management, shared that educating persons, particularly youth, about responsible use of the Internet remains an annual priority for the company.

“We are continuing the national conversation about Internet safety. While it provides many great opportunities to connect and create moments with our friends and family, like any other tool responsible usage is encouraged, especially among children. We also celebrate that more and more of our senior citizens are getting online, however, we recognise that they too may also face significant risks while navigating the online world,” Mitchell said.


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