To commemorate National Child Protection Week, Media Monitoring Africa (MMA), together with the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies (DCDT), Google, Facebook, the Film Publication Board (FPB), Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA), MTN and Diana Schwarz Attorneys hosted their first webinar together with Web Rangers, under the overarching national theme – “Let us all Protect Children, During Covid-19 and Beyond”
As the country gears up to move to level 3 of the national lockdown – children are still among the groups of people whose activities are still very limited by the regulations. As a result, children are turning to social media for both online schooling and play, and oftentimes without the necessary digital literacy skills to successfully navigate the internet.
For Child Protection Week, Web Rangers hosted a webinar that focused on 3 child online safety issues – that they believe cannot be left out of the online safety discussion, especially during this time of COVID-19.
The 3 themes are:
– Access to devices and data, alongside digital literacy skills, tools and resources so that youth become active digital citizens
– Participation of children in leading policies/discussions related to child online safety
– Digital literacy for parents/guardians
They also got an opportunity to ask some tough questions to government, business and civil society about their contribution in ensuring child online safety beyond Child Protection Week.
Phakamile Khumalo, national coordinator for the Web Rangers programme in South Africa congratulated Web Rangers on their efforts in providing a platform for other children to engage with important industry stakeholders and voice their concerns around child online safety amidst COVID-19.
Web Rangers was launched in South Africa in 2016 with the aim to improve young people’s digital literacy skills and empower them to take ownership of their own digital footprints. In 2020, the programme will be adapted to be implemented digitally – meaning that we will reach a greater scale and have greater impact on more children.
To keep up with what Web Rangers are doing, follow their work on Twitter @MediaMatters, webrangers.co.za, on Instagram @webrangersza and Facebook webrangersSA
For more info on this event or to find out more about Web Rangers, you can contact our national coordinator Phakamile Khumalo on email firstname.lastname@example.org