NITDA boss advises Students on cyber responsibility

By Na'ankwat Dariem, Abuja

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Secondary School Students across Nigeria have been advised to always display high level of responsibility whenever they are online in order to be protected from cyber risks.

The Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa gave this advice in Abuja at this year’s inter-school debate organised by the Junior Chamber International JCI and supported by the Agency.

The topic for the debate was ‘Should Social Media be Encouraged among Secondary School Students?’

Represented by Head, Digital Technology, Adoption, Digital Literacy and Skill Unit, Dr Ayodele Bakare, the DG  stated that, as secondary school students, using the internet facilities, it is expected of them to behave responsibly in order to be protected from psychological and physical risks that are common online.

Psychological risks
Inuwa noted that some of the psychological risks the children could suffer from if they are irresponsible online are: fear, low self-esteem, promiscuousness, violence, poor academic performance among others. “Among the physical risks you can experience online are illness, injury, death, scandal and loss of finance”, he said.

“Your responsibilities online include: non-disclosure of personal information to strangers, avoidance of people or strangers that demand for too much information, turn down offer to meet online strangers, not opening of mails or files from unknown sources, and always inform parents or teachers whenever you feel concerned about strangers online”, he added.

The DG advised children to limit the time they spend online in order not to affect other spheres of their lives particularly their academic performance.

He maintained that child online safety has become imperative in order to protect them from threats and risks because children are easily influenced with online contents.

Advocacy and capacity building
Inuwa reiterated that as a government agency, NITDA will keep on with advocacy and capacity building on online safety for minors.

“Another way government is trying to protect children online is in the area of policy formulation, regulations and guideline on child online safety”, he said.

Aim of debate
The President of JCI, Ajalat Aminat Aweke, said the aim of the debate is to discover another set of young lads among students in Federal Capital Territory. She added that the topic for the debate captures the rave of the moment on the usage of social media among secondary school students.

“The debate will form a robust discussion and form a framework for censorship”, she said.

The Coordinator, National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotic NCAIR, Ya’u Garba Isah, stated that the use of robotic would help to avoid obstacle in computing programming.

He said, mentoring the students on technological innovation would promote the motive of JCI which is in line with the mandate of the centre.  The selected trainees hosted at the centre were the students that excelled at the inter school debate that JCI organised.

About 10 Secondary Schools particiated in this year’s debate where Government Secondary School Gwagwalada emerged first and was awarded with three laptops and 100,000 naira cash. Government Secondary School, Mabushi, emerged second and went away with 75,000 naira, while Government Girls Secondary School, Dutsen Alhaji, came third and received 50,000 naira.


Nneka Ukachukwu

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