Mon | Apr 6, 2020

Students join Digicel and partners in campaign for a safer Internet

Published:Saturday | February 22, 2020 | 12:12 AM

In support of Safer Internet Day (SID), Digicel, Trend Media, the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA), and the National Secondary Students’ Council (NSSC) received commitments from more than 200 high-school students from across the country that they will act as ambassadors for safer Internet use by their peers.

The students, representing more than 30 rural and urban high schools, participated in lively discussions about taking responsibility for their online behaviour and making the Internet a safer place, especially for younger users.

These activities were part of the celebration of Safer Internet Day at Titchfield High School in Portland, Montego Bay High School for Girls in St James, and the Digicel headquarters in downtown Kingston, on February 11, where the students converged and engaged in frank, open discussions about spotting and avoiding online dangers, using technology responsibly, and acquiring digital life skills. Through live streaming, more persons were able to join the robust discussions under the hashtag #DigicelSID2020.

Speaking after the SID session held at the Montego Bay High School for Girls, public relations and communications manager for Digicel Jamaica, Elon Parkinson said, “We came out of these sessions feeling very encouraged that more of our young people were empowered to do the right thing while they navigate the online space. Our partnership with Trend Media, CPFSA, and NSSC ensured that all participants received a full checklist of useful tips for themselves, and to share with their peers.”

Following his presentation in Kingston, senior marketing manager for Trend Media, Andrew Brown remarked, “As the leader in digital marketing in the Caribbean and knowing that access to social media is in the hands of millions of children, it was important that we took the time to ensure programmes are in place to properly educate our youth on how to like, share, post, and follow responsibly.”

Oversharing

Public relations officer for the NSSC and sixth-form Immaculate Conception student Ree-Anna Robinson, who had earlier urged students to avoid oversharing on social-media platforms, said, “I hope that students now understand what it means to think wisely before you post on social media and think not only how it affects them, but also the people around them. At the NSSCJA, we have made it our mission to defend students’ rights and promote student responsibility, and that includes Internet literacy. We are grateful that Digicel Jamaica has included us in this awesome initiative.”

Following her lively and animated discussion with the student participants, CPFSA children’s officer Sandra Brown lauded the Digicel initiative. She remarked, “I am hoping that, going forward, all these students will be more vigilant in what they say and post on the Internet. We have to ensure that we put forward a positive message, one that focuses on spreading love and goodwill.”

Safer Internet Day is celebrated globally in more than 100 countries in February. The event is an initiative of the European Union-based InSafe – a network of awareness centres that promote safer use of the Internet. As it is Jamaica’s digital lifestyle partner and preferred Internet service provider, local activities are spearheaded by Digicel to promote the safe and responsible use of technology by young people.