Vodafone Qatar, in partnership with the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC) and the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, has delivered additional online safety workshops at 11 primary schools benefiting close to 1,000 students. The initiative follows workshops conducted late last year at 10 other schools.
This comes as part of the MoTC and the Education Ministry’s collaboration to raise cyber safety awareness in the Qatari community and Vodafone’s AmanTECH online safety programme, which aims to equip children, parents, and teachers with the right tools to navigate the digital world safely.
In February, Vodafone Qatar and the MoTC signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on a wide range of cyber safety initiatives that would ensure continuous and effective awareness and education throughout the community.
The workshops required children to perform tasks related to safety online to learn specific skills, including identifying fake news, safe online gaming, and self-image and reputation online. At each workshop, the pupils did an interactive electronic survey. Afterwards, they discussed some of the dangers and how to stay safe in
This revealed that 31% of pupils spend at least eight hours online per day on the following activities, watching videos (35%), social media (25%), and games (22%).
The activities showed the importance of telling adults about inappropriate content.
Only 24% of children said they would tell an adult if they saw something upsetting online, while 56% said they would ignore it, and 12% said they would use Google to find out more about it, 8% said they would share it with friends.
The most popular social media platforms were Instagram (43%) and Snapchat (38%). Most young people were aware of the risks of meeting with online friends: 47% said they would tell parents if a stranger online wanted to meet them, 36% said they would tell the person they were not comfortable. However, 5% said they would arrange a secret meeting on their own, while 12% said they would go to the meeting, but take a friend.
Mohamed al-Yami, director, external affairs at Vodafone Qatar, said, “Qatar has one of the highest Internet penetrations in the world and the highest social media penetration.
“It is also clear from public statistics and our own research that children in Qatar are spending a considerable amount of time online. These facts have reinforced our commitment to ensure that children are given the opportunity to make the most of communication technologies for their development while also instilling healthy and safe online habits.”
The AmanTECH programme includes ongoing workshops, an online source for information, and tips for parents accessible at www.vodafone.qa/AmanTECH
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