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Web Rangers protecting children online

 

To commemorate National Child Protection Week, Media Monitoring Africa (MMA), together with Department of Telecommunication and Postal Services (DTPS), Google, Facebook, the Film Publication Board (FPB), Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA), MTN and Diana Schwarz Attorneys hosted their first ever breakfast roundtable with Web Rangers, Web Rangers school principals and industry experts. The event took place at Google offices in Johannesburg on the 28th of May 2019.

Web Rangers is an international digital and media literacy designed to empower young people with critical skills on how to use the internet and social media responsibly and confidently.

In South Africa, the initiative is implemented by Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) together with partners, Film and Publications Board (FPB), Facebook, Google, Department of Telecommunication and Postal Services (DTPS), Media, Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA), MTN and Diana Schwarz Attorneys. The programme was launched in South Africa in 2016, with the aim to improve young people’s digital literacy skills and empower them to take ownership of their own digital footprints.

To highlight the amazing work that the South African Web Rangers team have been doing since 2016, Web Rangers decided to commemorate National Child Protection Week by focusing their attention on the role of schools in keeping children safe online and what tools they can use to achieve this.

This event brought together government departments, programme partners, and child online safety experts to engage with Web Ranger Gauteng based schools on how they can create and incorporate child friendly social media ethical guidelines in their existing school code of conducts as a tool to effectively deal with child online safety issues within schools.

Media Monitoring Africa Director William Bird gave a keynote speech on the important role that schools play in keeping their learners safe online.

“We cannot talk about children without children. Technology has shifted everything and changed the way children are. If we don’t have them as central parts of everything we do, we are denying them their fundamental rights of participation”. – William Bird

The 2019 Web Rangers got the opportunity to speak to guests about why it was important for them to commemorate this important week by bringing together various stakeholders to talk about their collective role in ensuring that learners become active digital citizens who use the internet safely and responsibly.  

Phakamile Khumalo, National Coordinator for the Web Rangers programme in South Africa congratulated Web Rangers on their efforts in making sure that their peers are safe online.

“Over the last three years we have built a strong momentum with our Web Rangers and have really empowered our learners to speak on critical issues. Having our Web Rangers give input in policy discussions is the next natural step and they have done really well.”

To keep up with what Web Rangers are doing, follow their work on Twitter @MediaMatters, webrangers.co.za, on Instagram @webrangersza and Facebook webrangersSA

For more info on this event or to find out more about Web Rangers, you can contact our National Coordinator Phakamile Khumalo on email phakamilek@mma.org.za or call on 011 7881278.