Digital Parenting 101: …Ensure responsible  cyberculture at home during the COVID-19 lockdown!

‘’The explosion of information and communication technology has created unprecedented opportunities for children and young people to communicate, connect, share, learn, access information and express their opinions on matters that affect their lives and their communities.

“But wider and more easily available access to the Internet and mobile technology also poses significant challenges to children’s safety – both online and offline.

 

To reduce risks of the digital revolution while enabling more children and young people to reap its benefits, governments, civil society, local communities, international organisations and the private sector must come together in common purpose.’’

Dr. Hamadoun I. Touré, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) & Mr. Anthony Lake, Secretary-General Executive Director of UNICEF.

 ICT education over the years all across the world has undergone a lot of transformation. There has been a move away from the pure technological skills-learning, to a more comprehensive approach that experts call computer literacy. The days of learning how to use a computer only to create word documents and send out basic emails is becoming a thing of the past in most advanced educational systems.

Findings have shown that the Internet has a lot of benefits as far as our children’s development is concerned. The Internet has been said to facilitate a child’s cognitive, social, emotional and even physical development.

You will all agree that our early stages as humans are characterised by finding and trying out things. The Ghanaian child in this era will seize every opportunity to be inquisitive about things happening around him or her. The technological tools, especially the Internet, makes it easy for our younger generation to seek and find information that hitherto would have been inaccessible. Go around the city and urban areas and see how children are making things happen on the Internet in ways parents can’t keep pace with – most especially in our part of the world, where the Internet is a no-go area for many parents.

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Come to Tema and Ashaiman where I live; the Internet is a part of the childrens’ daily lives there – vindicating one writer who said: “…when kids are online, they’re reading, thinking, analysing, criticising and authenticating – composing their thoughts. Kids use computers for activities that go hand-in-hand with our understanding of what constitutes a traditional childhood.

“They use the technology to play, learn, communicate and form relationships as children always have. Development is enhanced in an interactive world.”

# Africanchildright has stated in a report that: “This new-found happiness also encourages many under-aged children (upper-adolescence especially) to achieve unguided access to websites they normally should not access. No one seems to be cautioning them, as they stand as customers who have paid for services”.

#Smartkliq says: seeing the rewards that are in stock online for our children, it would be unwise to keep them away from the Internet. A huge responsibility therefore lies on us stakeholders (Parents, Teachers, Religious bodies, Government Agencies etc.) to ensure that our children are responsible when in the virtual world.

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