eSafe forms community alliances with entities to collaborate on provision of safe online experience. eSafe empowers children and their families by providing them information and guidelines to make their online experience safe.
Digital literacy skills are key life skills for children and young people today. They need to be media savvy and know how to effectively search for and evaluate online content; know how to protect personal information and reputation; know to respect copyright and intellectual property and know where to get help if problems arise. Schools are well placed to help children and young people to develop these skills, and should look for opportunities across the curriculum to reinforce online safety messages.Online safety should form a fundamental part of schools’ and colleges’ child protection measures.eSafe believes schools have a dual responsibility when it comes to online safety: to ensure the school’s online procedures keep children and young people safe, and to teach them about online safety, in and outside of school. eSafe works with schools to foster an open environment in which children and young people are encouraged to ask any questions and participate in an ongoing conversation about the benefits and dangers of the online world.
eSafe works with schools to create e-safety policies and procedures that will help schools to mitigate risk and respond to concerns; ensures teachers have the knowledge to teach students about e-safety; provides advice on using social media and live streaming; and includes parents/carers by sharing helpful advice and resources.
Often parents believe that their children know more about the internet and technology than they do, and this can sometimes be a difficult issue to overcome. Concerns about insufficient computer skills or a limited understanding about the online environment can be off-putting and sometimes frightening for parents/carers. eSafe reminds parents that online safety is more about parenting and communication skills than technology. Alternatively, some families may think they already do enough to protect their children by banning certain games or sites and installing filters or antivirus software onto home devices. Unfortunately, this approach does not acknowledge that children could access the internet elsewhere or may intentionally bypass systems without parent’s knowledge. Banning and blocking is not the answer. eSafe highlights the importance of maintaining open discussions and empowering children and young people to make safer and more sensible choices online.
eSafe stands up for children and takes action to better protect children and young people. Our policy, lobbying, influencing and campaigning work with schools, higher education institutions, government and private entities helps ensure our point of view on children, young people & family safety is heard by decision-makers.
While media and technology have great promise for learning, children need support and education to learn how to make sound judgments when navigating the digital world. School administrators and educators are being faced with overwhelming challenges, such as those related to privacy, digital footprints, cyber bullying, and online exploitation & abuse.Schools can play a critical role by educating, empowering, and engaging children with the best practices around technology use. Schools have an obligation to provide students with the tools they require to function effectively in a digitally literate society.By supporting students to develop as successful digital citizens, schools are in a position to provide competency framework for learning the values, behaviors and skills required to contribute meaningfully in an increasingly online world while ensuring students have the knowledge and ability to successfully manage the inevitable challenges of the internet.According to the latest statistics, a whopping 99.06% of the UAE population remains active on social media. In the year 2019, 9.52 million people came online on social media almost every day out of a population of 9.61 million people. Almost 82% of the UAE’s population has profiles on Facebook while YouTube’s penetration also stands at 82%. (Ref: Globalmedia insight 2019)
A staggering 7 out of 10 or 69.7% of students in the UAE use social media for five hours or more every day, according to a study conducted by a team of students from the Canadian University Dubai, which was published in August 2019.eSafe advocates for a unified, standardized and comprehensive digital citizenship policy to be developed and implemented in all the UAE schools by recognizing the important role of education in preparing digital citizens.By fostering a culture of successful digital citizenship in our students, educators and our wider community we can encourage everyone to take responsibility for themselves and others in their use of ICTs.