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On 18 October, 150 Proximus employee volunteers, trained in online media education by Child Focus, raised awareness among 6,700 school pupils on how to use the Internet safely.
With the popularity of Pokémon Go, Musically and Snaps exploding, this project is becoming self-evident. Young people spend much of their teenage years online. Young Belgians, like their European peers, worship the social networks like a cult. On average, they spend more than 12 hours a week in front of their screens but they're not always careful. It’s therefore important to teach them about the risks so that they can enjoy themselves in complete safety. The educational challenge is to help them become aware of the consequences of their actions online...
Since 2010, twice a year, around 150 employees from Proximus, trained by Child Focus, on a volunteering basis raise awareness among at least 12,000 fifth- and sixth-year primary school pupils in total in workshops entitled "Internet: Safe & Fun". Microsoft joins this initiative once a year for the International Safer Internet Day in February. Inspired by these interactive lessons, the children are made to think about their own online behavior through the questions they are asked.
This day distinguishes itself as an unmissable opportunity to train children to adopt good online habits right from childhood.
Even though the primary objective is to raise children's awareness, it is also necessary to help teachers who may feel powerless in the face of Internet education by orienting them towards appropriate teaching tools so that they themselves can easily tackle the issue of Internet safety in their classrooms. The volunteers will give an initial general lesson on this subject – passwords, online identity and communication, trustworthy sites and cyberbullying – and will leave the teacher a binder of teaching material provided by Child Focus to deal with certain aspects in more detail.
As the Belgian Center for Safe Internet, Child Focus operates an e-Safety helpline. This service is for all Internet users: children, teenagers, parents, education professionals (teachers, school directors, educators, social workers, etc.) who have questions about safe and responsible Internet use and/or who have encountered a problem online. This helpline can be reached by dialing the Child Focus emergency number 116.000.
For more information, surf to www.clicksafe.be, the Child Focus prevention portal for Internet safety.
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