The National Orientation Agency (NOA) in Ebonyi has charged teachers, educators and social workers to help in equipping students with digital literacy skills in order to create a better internet society.
The State Director of the agency, Dr Emma Abah, gave the charge on Tuesday in Abakaliki at a ceremony to mark “Safer Internet Day”, celebrated every February 11.
The event, which is celebrated in 141 countries, has the theme, “Together for a Better Internet.”
Abah said that digital literacy skills would also help to develop the students’ critical thinking skills, which would enable them to better navigate through the online world.
“NOA has continued with its sensitisation and re-orientation on the need to create safer cyberspace for everyone, while all of us must contribute to this laudable programme.
An Assistant Director, NOA, Mr Anthony Uguru, said that the United Nations Children’s Fund stated that one in every three internet users globally are children.
“For children, digital technologies are the norm by which they connect, socialise, improve their skills and expand their horizons.
“NOA urges internet users to enjoy this rights in a responsible manner.
“It is important, when considering the right of children, who are vulnerable and depend on adults to safeguard them,” Uguru said.
The Chairman, Secondary Education Board in the state, Dr Elizabeth Ezeanyim, commended stakeholders in the education sector and participants at the programme.
Ezeanyim, who was represented by Mr Roy Okwuoma, a member of the board, said that there was an urgent need to promote safer online technology among children and young people, since there was no restriction and control of information with services available online.
The Principal, Girls’ High School, Azuiyiokwu, Abakaliki, Mrs Catherine Onwuegbuna, recommended frequent supervision and guidiance over the use of the internet by children.
Miss Precious Ugbala and Praise Akuma, both senior students of the school, advised on the need for continuous public enlightenment on proper use of the internet.
Ugbala further said that the awareness should concentrate on encouraging parents not to allow even their 18-years-old children to misuse the Internet.
“I believe that we suffer most times because we lack the knowledge and we misuse it because we do not know the importance.