As part of events to commemorate the 2019 Safer Internet Day (SID), Google and some partners pledged to train 100,000 secondary school students through its newly launched online safety initiatives to ensure security on the cyber space.
SID is a call to action for stakeholders to create better Internet for citizens and this year’s celebration has “Together for a better Internet” as its theme.
Information on the Google’s commitment is in a statement signed by the Nigeria Policy Manager of the company, Mrs Seember Nyager, in Abuja on Tuesday.
Nyager pointed out that the programmes ‘Web Rangers’ and ‘Family Link’ were designed for youths and children, as well as enable parents to manage what their children do on the internet.
She said that the company was partnering with the Public and Private Development Centre (PPDC) and the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) to train the students.
According to the manager, the training will cut across 32 states of the country, while the initiatives are aimed at amplifying the importance of online safety for everyone and particularly younger Nigerians.
“The first initiative will see Google, the PPDC and the NERDC partner to hold simultaneous online safety workshops in 32 Nigerian states.
“The partnership is to educate over 100,000 secondary school students on how to stay safe and protected when using the internet through the workshops, which form part of Google’s Web Rangers programme.
“As the internet grows, so does the need for safety, privacy, and security online. Google is and always has been committed to helping make the internet safer and more useful for everyone.
“Through initiatives like our Web Rangers programme, we educate young Nigerians in secondary schools to explore the internet and use our Google products safely,” she said.
Nyager said other products like ‘Family Link’ can empower parents to set digital ground rules by managing their Google Accounts, device and app usage.
Nyager further said the company’s family-friendly products, like YouTube Kids, provide a safer online experience for discovery.
“Beyond our own products, we also want to help kids learn how to be safer, more confident explorers of the online world programmes.
“Together with partners, Google-designed online safety curriculum will be integrated into the junior secondary school curriculum across Nigeria.”
Chief Executive Officer of PPDC, Mrs Nkemdilim Ilo, was quoted as saying that they were delighted to be partners in the project.
“We are pleased to be collaborating with Google to ensure that Nigerian students are safe as they explore the online world and maximise all the benefits the internet offers.
“We have embraced the initiative to infuse online safety courses into the national curriculum for Nigerian schools,” she said.
Also, Executive Secretary NERDC, Prof. Ismail Junaid, added that SID of the year highlights the evolving challenges and opportunities that are presented to young people online.
According to him, the challenges are highlighted by calling attention to how the industry, government and the public can help to provide the critical thinking, knowledge, resilience, and support children need to be safe online.