Vodafone Qatar’s award winning online safety programme, AmanTECH, is continuing to engage children on the subject of digital safety and its latest research findings clearly shows a number of gaps to address. And there’re worrying new research findings by Vodafone Qatar about kids’ screen time in Qatar!
To raise cyber-safety awareness in the Qatari community, Vodafone Qatar, in partnership with the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MOTC), have been delivering online safety workshops at primary schools since late 2017. At the end of each workshop, the pupils complete an electronic survey on their use of technology, games, videos and social media. At the last 20 workshops in which 1761 children were surveyed, the following resulted:
Vodafone’s AmanTECH online safety programme aims to equip children, parents and teachers with the right tools to navigate the digital world safely.
To date, 30 workshops have been conducted for close to 3000 students in Years 3-8, with plans to conduct 20 more before the end of 2019. In each workshop, the children are required to perform tasks related to safety online, in order to learn specific skills including identifying fake news vs real, safe online gaming, how to deal with cyber bullying and reputation online.
Mr. Mohammed Al Yami, Director of External Affairs at Vodafone Qatar, said: “Qatar is one of the most connected countries in the world and children are exposed to technology from a very young age. As a leading digital company, it is our duty to ensure that children are given the opportunity to make the most of communication technologies for their development while also instilling healthy and safe online habits.”
“Our work through AmanTECH has touched thousands of children and members of the community but there is much to do to raise awareness about digital safety and our research clearly shows a number of gaps. For a start, communication between parents and children is often limited to parents trying to get children off screens. A wider and more open conversation is needed about screen use and some of the risks involved. This would make children more likely to talk to parents when issues arise – for example seeing upsetting content online – which only 39% of children say they would tell an adult about.”
The AmanTECH programme includes ongoing workshops, an online source for information and tips for parents accessible at www.vodafone.qa/AmanTECH.
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