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Dhaka Tribune

1 million school children to receive online safety certification by 2021

The Safer Internet Day has been observed since 2004 to raise awareness on emerging online issues and trends

Update : 11 Feb 2020, 03:26 PM

Leading towards a world record, one million school children across Bangladesh are expected to receive an online safety certification within 2021, making their online experience safer.

The ICT Division of the Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology, with support from Unicef, will take on the endeavour to minimize the growing risks children and adolescents face online in an increasingly connected world.  

This was announced on Tuesday t an event to mark the international Safer Internet Day 2020, read a press release. 

It was attended by school children, members of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information and Communication Technology (ICT), domain and social media experts, telecom operators, media professionals, renowned actors, representatives from trade bodies, and cybercrime experts from the Bangladesh Police.

The Safer Internet Day has been observed since 2004 to raise awareness on emerging online issues and trends. The theme for this year, "Together for a Better Internet," and was attended by the State Minister for the ICT Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak as the chief guest.

“Within a year’s time, we will create history by providing one million school-going children with safer Internet usage certification and make a major stride towards giving our children the much-needed protection against lurking online risks,” said Zunaid Ahmed Palak.

The day-long event promoted local internet content among children and parents, conducted sessions on net etiquette for children, introduced parental control tools, encouraged open conversation, and educated children, parents and teachers on safety aspect of the Internet.

“It is high time that we weigh the risks and opportunities of cyber technology and use our collective wisdom and strength to minimize the risks. Shutting children out of the Internet is not a solution. In today’s world, children need the wealth of knowledge and information that is available online,” said Tomoo Hozumi, Unicef country representative in Bangladesh.

A 2019 survey commissioned by Unicef brought to light that cyberbullying is a serious problem in Bangladesh -  32% of respondents reported to have been bullied online for their appearance, examination result, religion and other reasons.

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