FILM AND PUBLICATION BOARD TO MARK SAFER INTERNET DAY IN EAST LONDON AS PART OF ITS 20 YEAR LEGACY

03 February 2016, Johannesburg. The Film and Publication Board (FPB) will be participating in the global Safer Internet Day (SID) annual campaign on the 9 February 2016, in collaboration with the Eastern Cape Department of Education, and the Steve Biko Centre in East London, Ginsberg.

With the increase of online users, protecting and educating our children online from child pornography rings, child molesters, paedophiles and from becoming victims of heinous crimes is more important that even before and must be a national priority.  With the development of the digital landscape and the growing accessibility of Internet resources to our children it is important that their safety on the net is treated with utmost importance.

The FPB has invited local schools that include Douglass Ross Primary School, Sivuyile Primary School, Hector Peterson High School, and Ginsberg Seventh Day Adventist Primary School to participate in the day’s activities. The FPB intends to maintain a positive and long lasting relationship with these schools and have consistent engagements with them as part of its ongoing outreach and research efforts, to ensure that education about a safer internet is constant topic amongst educators, learners and parents. South Africans are encouraged to participate in the conversation on social media using the Twitter handle @FPB_ZA hashtag #Up2Us #SID2016 #FPBCyberSafe and on Facebook @FPBZA hashtag #Up2Us #SID2016 #FPBCyberSafe as well as Instagram @FPBZA.

The FPB’s Research team will use the event to garner measurable and tangible feedback from schools. The schools have been selected for a three-year pilot programme, considering the basis that they were part of our previous outreach campaigns, and also on the basis of the schools having experienced cases of child sex abuse, both offline and online. The project, with a focus on outreach and public education, does not, however, engage with victims of these crimes directly, as cases are referred to professionals trained in the area of child psychology and trauma counselling.

This year, SID, which falls in February of each year, is themed, “Play your part for a better internet”, and will be celebrated in 100 countries around the world.  With more than 8.5 million South Africans currently online, internet safety is top priority.  “The safety of children is of utmost importance especially with the growth of digital technology. As an organisation, the FPB also seeks to protect children from exposure to harmful materials,” says FPB CEO Mr. Themba P. Wakashe.

Mr. Wakashe goes on to state that , “Outreach campaigns such as SID ensure that parents, educators, caregivers and all South Africans, are educated about the risks of the cyber world, the dangers that children are exposed to on the world wide web, and the creation, possession and distribution of child pornography,”.

The aim of this event is to reach out to young Internet users, the target group being 10 – 18 years old in an interactive yet educative way and informs these young internet users about how they can enjoy the benefits of the Internet while at the same time, staying safe and not being exposed to age-inappropriate material.

The FPB approach is to have an interactive plenary session with teachers, pupils, and parents. Where we will role pay, have interactive games, and create an engaging, youthful environment in the form of educating everyone, but at the same time ensuring an educational space on cyber safety, and promoting a safer and more responsible use of online technologies.

At the Steve Biko Centre, learners from different schools will be assembled in one venue where they will be introduced to the concept and theme of SID 2016, after which they will be split into groups for specific practical interactive group work intended where they will be engaged on how safe Internet practices and social media etiquette, and introduced to online tools where they will be encouraged to champion the tools and behaviour in their schools and with other schools in their district.

“Cyberspace has no boundaries and by uniting with like-minded countries and organisations, we can promote responsible digital engagement. The youth need to realise that their value is not determined by social media platforms. We have the power to create positive content, while influencing society and companies that create these remarkable platforms we use,” says Rianette Leibowitz from SafeTNet and a key partner that works with the FPB on cyber safety amongst youth.

The FPB will conduct national cyber safety educational and awareness campaigns throughout this year with key industry partners, to fulfil its mandate and to ensure that children are protected from viewing potentially harmful, disturbing or inappropriate material.

Ends

Notes to Editors

For Internet safety tips email: clientsupport@fpb.org.za

To report abuse email: clientsupport@fpb.org.za

For online safety resource tools go to www.saferinternetday.org

Issued by: 

Sipho Mkhwanazi

Outreach Officer  

Email: sipho.mkhwanazi@fpb.org.za 

Cell: 083 573 2543

Tel: 012 003 1451

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