In Rwanda, the first annual edition of Safer Internet Day (SID) took place on Tuesday, 11 February 2020, at G.S NYIRARUKOBWA, a public school located in Bugesera District, Eastern Province, with a campaign slogan of “Together for a better internet”.
This annual celebration aims to raise awareness of the importance of both a safer and a better internet, where everyone is empowered to use technology responsibly, respectfully, critically and creatively. It aims to reach out to children and young people, parents and carers, teachers, educators and social workers, as well as industry, decision makers and politicians, to encourage everyone to play their part in creating a better internet. By celebrating the positive power of the internet, the slogan of “Together for a better internet” encourages everyone to join the movement, to participate, and to make the most of the internet’s potential to bring people together.
During this event, ISOC Rwanda have explained the role that everyone can play to make the internet safer and better.
Children and young people can help to create a better internet by being kind and respectful to others online, by protecting their online reputations (and those of others), and by seeking out positive opportunities to create, engage and share online.
Safer Internet Day 2020 – SID Committee with parents
Parents and carers play a crucial role in empowering and supporting children to use technology responsibly, respectfully, critically and creatively, whether it is by ensuring an open dialogue with their children, educating them to use technology safely and positively, or by acting as digital role models.
Teachers, educators and social workers can help to create a better internet by equipping their pupils and students with digital literacy skills and by developing their critical thinking skills, which will allow them to better navigate the online world. They can empower them to create their own content, make considered choices online, and can set a personal example of positive online behaviour for their pupils and students.
Industry can help to create a better internet by creating and promoting positive content and safe services online, and by empowering users to respond to any issues by providing clear safety advice, a range of easy-to-use safety tools, and quick access to support if things do go wrong.
Eric Ndayisenga explaining the role of ISOC in the internet ecosystem
Decision makers and politicians need to provide a culture in which all of the above can function and thrive – for example, by ensuring that there are opportunities in the curriculum for children and young people to learn about online safety, ensuring that parents and carers have access to appropriate information and sources of support, and that industry is encouraged to self-regulate its content and services. They must also take the lead in governance and legislation, and ultimately ensure the safety and well being of children and young people through effective child protection strategies for the digital world.
Everyone has a responsibility to make a positive difference online. We can all promote the positive by being kind and respectful to others and by seeking out positive opportunities to create and connect. We can all respond to the negative by reporting inappropriate or illegal content and behaviour online.
At the end of the ceremony, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Internet Society Rwanda and G.S Nyirarukobwa to establish good cooperation between both parties. Through this MoU, teachers and staff will have access to the internet and will be empowered in digital education.
A MoU was signed between Internet Society and G.S NYIRARUKOBWA