Even though the country is still working towards universal access to the internet, the Ministry of Public Telecommunications is taking steps to educate especially students, on the ills that come with that connectivity.
According to the Government Information Agency (GINA) the ministry has teamed up with International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to host a two-day workshop on the role of education in cyber security. The workshop opened today at the North Ruimveldt Multilateral School. The workshop is being facilitated by Dr. Kay Xuereb a visiting scholar from University of the West Indies (UWI) School of Education.
Addressing the participants, Minister Catherine Hughes sought to reinforce the need for educators to protect students and the education system from the dangers lurking on the internet. “Whether you are their parents or guardians, their teachers, instructors, headmistresses or counsellors or headmaster, there is no difference in the role that is required of us as adults,” the minister was quoted by GINA as saying.
“We have to do whatever it takes to make them ever so conscious of the possibilities lurking behind their cellphones, and their computer screens. We have to teach them to be cautious, when talking to people they do not know and even with people they think they know and we have to teach them how to deal with online bullies,” the minister added.
She assured that in pushing forward with the Public Telecommunications Ministry’s vision of ensuring greater internet access for all Guyanese, that measures will be put in place to ensure the nation’s safety from cyber security threat, GINA said.
Meanwhile, Chief Education Officer (CEO,) Ministry of Education, Marcel Hudson lauded the workshop’s timeliness, given his ministry’s renewed effort to integrate Information Communication Technology into the school system.
The two-day workshop covers areas such as preventing school cyber bullying and cyber security and school management issues. Day one focuses on training education officials including secondary school principals and Information Technology (IT) teachers. Day Two will target parents, guardians, student representatives and school counsellors.
Dr. Kay Xuereb who will be taking the participants through the sessions has worked as a teacher with special responsibility for Mathematics and Information Technology and the cyber security system for Oxfordshire school cluster in the United Kingdom. She has also developed the national Information Technology in Education Business Plan for Malta including cyber awareness and cyber security as well as significantly contributing to the development of the First National Information Communication Technology (ICT) Policy in Malta.