The objective of Safer Internet Day is to encourage all stakeholders to join together to make the internet a safer and more productive place for all, especially for children, youth and young adults. In Nigeria, the objective was achieved through speeches, practical demonstrations, participant interaction, a quiz competition and a video documentary. In addition, Facebook Inc. provided participants with safety tips and materials in the form of booklets and other publications containing detailed information on "Think before you share".
The workshop attracted 300 students from five schools in this female government school complex, and collaborated with the local government in Alimosho and its District Office in Agege.
The event was also celebrated in Port Harcourt, Rivers State by our Port Coordinator Nyekwere Tamuno Tonye assisted by Paulinus Emmanuel Baridomale with 70 students from Ojims College Port Harcourt. In all, we joined the world to celebrate this unique day in Nigeria with 370 students, 14 teachers, civil society organisations and five government officials in Lagos and Rivers State.
The event was supported by Facebook Inc, and was hosted by the International Centre for Leadership Development Nigeria (ICLDNG) in collaboration with the Lagos State Education District 1, Agege. Over 400 copies of the Facebook internet safety resources were distributed to all participants.
Official opening of the workshop
The event started at 9:30am with SID videos and internet safety videos from Facebook till 10:00am, followed by an opening speech on Safer Internet Day 2017 by Felix Iziomoh, Executive Director of ICLDNG, who encouraged the students to "be the change" and make the most of the positive opportunities offered online. He further categorised ways by which people can be the change; children and young people can create a better internet through kindness and consideration online, while also protecting their online reputation, responding to negativities by being helpful bystanders, supporting their peers and develop a mutual co-existence with the online community.
Parents and guardians can help create a better internet by maintaining an open and honest dialogue with their children about their online identity and by helping them to find positive digital resources. Educators and social actors can help also by providing children and young people with the digital literacy skills for today's world and helping to identify positive content online for both learning and recreation. He highlighted the important role the Lagos State Ministry of Education had played over the years in supporting activities that bring internet awareness and safety to the awareness of high school students, youth and teachers.
The keynote address of the event was presented by the Principal of Government Senior Girls' College Mrs. Akindipupo F.O., who spoke like a mother to all the participants on internet bullying and cyber friendliness and emphasised the need for the protection not only of ourselves but of the online community we interact with. She noted that although one person may be afflicted, we can all be affected unless we act in unity.
Mr Chukwuemeka from Project Open your Eyes followed the principal, on exploring interesting opportunities online. This was followed by a video from Facebook.
Mr. Murtala Ariyo, a detective from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Lagos Zonal Office, gave a presentation on the legal and social risks and consequences of internet crime.
Mr Chris Ibe, Executive Director of African Youth Initiative on Crime Prevention and Mr.Olatunji Igbalajobi from the Cyber Security Association of Nigeria also shared their insights on how best the students can explore and use the internet both for education and their personal development.
The last session of the day was a quiz competition on internet safety. The quiz was anchored by Mr Abiodun Mabadeje and included two students from each of the five schools competing. The prizes were presented to all the representatives from each school and were presented by the Lagos State Education District 1 Lead Counsellor, Mrs Owoo M.B.
Based on the evaluation survey, some of the students highlighted lessons learned from SID 2017:
"I learned that before we post anything, whether pictures, videos, opinions etc., we have to think twice and act wisely and I like the awareness and safety procedures given to us."
"I so much loved this event, because it has opened my eyes to know more about internet safety."
"I learnt the merits and challenges of safer internet and how to protect myself from cybercrime."
"Well, I learned that we should be careful about how to use Facebook; that we shouldn't post pictures in a wrong way; also we should not misuse the Facebook in order to avoid future backlash."
"The event was educational and comprehensive, and provided the necessary guidelines and rules for internet safety."
"I learned about the Facebook privacy setting."
A major outcome from the workshop addressed by the students was the lack of awareness on the part of many internet users, resulting from the absence of adequate safety materials and workshop sensitisation on internet safety.
The event ended at about 1:40 pm.
Thanks to our supporter, Facebook, for making the event a huge success, and to our partners:
- African Youth Initiative on Crime Prevention
- World Genesis Foundation
- Economic and Financial Crime Commission
- Funkyband tsmallchops
- Entito Africa