Student workshops for Safer Internet Day 2019 in Tanzania

  • Awareness
  • 13/03/2019
  • Computing and Information Association (CIA), the Tanzanian Safer Internet Day Committee

Each year, Safer Internet Day (SID) is celebrated in February to promote the safe and positive use of digital technologies for children and young people. Globally, SID is celebrated in over 150 countries, and coordinated by the joint Insafe/INHOPE network, with the support of the European Commission. In Tanzania, SID is coordinated by the Tanzanian SID Committee, hosted by Computing and Information Association (CIA). This year's Safer Internet Day (SID) celebration took place on Tuesday, 5 February 2019. The campaign's slogan, "Together for a better internet", was a call to action for all stakeholders to join together and play their part in creating a better internet for everyone, and especially for younger users.

This year, the Tanzanian SID Committee commemorated SID by organising two main events activities: the launch of the Tanzanian SID Committee's official website and the organisation of assembly workshops in two schools in Dar es Salaam.

The launch of the Tanzanian SID Committee's website

The CIA team developed a basic website, on a voluntary basis, which is now the organisation's official website for raising awareness on safer internet issues. On Tuesday, 5 February 2019, for SID, the website went live. It introduces the CIA and its past activities. In the near future, the website will have advanced features, including an online safety guide, tutorials and quiz, online help and hotline help, as well as a reporting system for illegal links.

The workshops

Two workshops were conducted in two schools, the Kibangu English Medium School and the Kabangwa Secondary School, under the theme "Our internet, our choice", with a focus on understanding consent in the digital world. The workshop's theme was adopted from the UK Safer Internet Centre (SIC), where the Tanzanian SID Committee found training resources. The main focus was on how consent works in an online context, to discuss how young people navigate the challenges around consent online, the way that young people can think critically about how they ask for, give and receive consent online. Participants in both workshops were asked to explore how they ask, give, and receive consent online in their friendships or with their parents and family members, how they take and share images and videos or how they manage their privacy and data.

Picture of Safer Internet Day 2019 celebrations in Tanzania

The workshops empowered participants to explore how the internet works, who owns the information that is shared online, and how they can actively take ownership of digital spaces as well as to take control of their online lives and to feel that they can harness and use the positive power of the internet for good.

Picture of Safer Internet Day 2019 celebrations in Tanzania

On Thursday, 14 February 2019, at the Kibangu Primary School, 31 pupils aged 10-12 participated in the workshop where the CIA held a presentation inspired by the work of the UK SIC. During the session, a number of issues regarding consent online were raised and discussed. The presentation empowered participants to acknowledge the importance of asking for permission for some things and give permission for others, when they are online as well as offline. Participants were also presented with a number of examples and online scenarios. The participants were put into group of three to four people and were given a sheet of paper with a list of questions regarding consent online, asking them what they would do. Each group then presented their answers to their fellow participants, consequently sparking discussion between the students. It was agreed that asking for and giving permission is an opportunity to make a choice about your life online.

Picture of Safer Internet Day 2019 celebrations in Tanzania

On Thursday, 15 February 2019, at the Kambangwa Secondary School, 52 students aged 14-18 participated in the workshop where the CIA held a presentation also inspired by the work of the UK SIC on consent online. A number of issues were discussed, such as how do we take better control of our lives online, how is consent online different, what is the big deal about big data, whose data is it anyway, what has data ever done for us and what could data do for us in the future.

Picture of Safer Internet Day 2019 celebrations in Tanzania

The presentation empowered students to better understand how they can choose and control their life online by considering what they do online, what information they search for, what they don't want to see, what they share, who they talk to, which apps they use, and so on. The students acknowledged the importance of reading and understanding the terms and conditions of online services.

The participants were then split into groups of five to seven people, and were asked to write down what they had learned and what they will do to create a better internet for all. Afterwards, each group presented their answers to their fellow participants. Everyone agreed that we are all creating data online and we have to take control of our data because they determine our digital footprint.

Observations

During the workshops, 7 out of 10 participants said there are more positive things about being online than there are negative things. More than 70 per cent of participants said being online helps them understand what is happening in the world. Overwhelmingly, the participants have demonstrated a strong sense of what is right and wrong online, with most believing that everyone has a responsibility to respect others online and everyone is responsible for creating a better internet.

Regarding online consent, 70 per cent of participants think their friends should ask for permission before tagging them or sharing a photo or video of them. However, 60 per cent of participants do not ask permission before posting, consequently, over half of participants said someone they know shared a photo or video of them without asking. The participants can recognise the difference between public and private online spaces, with almost a third of participant saying it is okay to share a photo or video with others that has been made public. In comparison, only 1 out of 10 participants thinks it is okay to share something that has been sent privately.

The Tanzanian SID Committee would like to thank Boniphace Malale, Nisile Kaswaga, Edger Kakugira, and Joyce Kobwa from the Project Team, as well as Joseph Odera, teacher at the Kambangwa Secondary School and James Bitesigirwe, teacher at the Kibangu Primary School.

For further information, please check the Tanzanian Safer Internet Day Committee's profile page.


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