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Sierra Leone’s First Lady, Her Excellency Mrs. Fatima Bio recently officially launched the International “Safer Internet Day‟ (SID) at the Atlantic Hall, Freetown. The event was organised under the auspices of the Ministry of Information and Communications.

Delivering her keynote address to mark the official launch of the Safer Internet Schools Awareness Clubs Initiative on the theme “Together for a better internet”, the First Lady of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Mrs. Fatima Bio called on all stakeholders to join and play their part in creating a better internet for everyone especially young users.

Mrs. Fatima Bio whilst underscoring the significance of the internet maintained that protecting children from potentially harmful things on the internet until they learn about the need for safety and security online is incredibly important, particularly because, as a society, we increasingly spend more and more time online. “Remember that enforcing safety isn’t necessarily just putting up a wall between the world and your child it’s teaching them a set of core values and behaviours which will enable them to go online with awareness and knowledge, so that ultimately they’ll be able to thrive on their own as fully fledged adults,‟ she added.

“Your child, pupil or student might not like it, but let them know that this isn’t forever, and that once they’ve proven themselves as responsible users of the web, the training wheels will come off,‟ Mrs. Fatima Bio concluded.

According to the Minister of Information and Communications, Mohamed Rahman Swarray, the significance of this event is to ensure that as a responsible nation, his Ministry champions awareness raising among the citizenry which focuses on pupils in primary and secondary schools on safer internet use and to further encourage internet users to apply positive online practices.

Various distinguished speakers include the Chairman for the Board, Sierra Leone Cable Limited, Mr. Ishmael Kebe; the Acting Director of Children’s Affairs, Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, Joyce B. Kamara, the Director General for NATCOM, Mr. Maxwell Massaquoi; the Chief Executive Officer for Orange, Aminata Kane Ndiaye, representatives from the Children’s Commission and the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education. The welcome statement was delivered by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Communications, Mr. Augustine S. Sheku.
The event brought together mostly primary and secondary school pupils and teachers.

©The Calabash Newspaper

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