MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Education (DepEd), in partnership with a non-government organization advocating children’s rights, launched a manual on online safety for public school students to prevent Internet-related child abuse.
DepEd and the Stairway Foundation have produced the CyberSafe Project Manuals, which contain individual lesson plans targeting Grades 5 to 6 and junior high students.
The manual discusses online privacy and the risks students face online, such as cyber bullying, “sexting” and child pornography.
It aims to develop students’ capacity to stay safe from online child abuse and harm, and at the same time educate teachers and parents about online safety.
Education Secretary Armin Luistro noted that nine out of 10 Filipino students use the Internet.
“It is important to educate students of the risks they face online and involve their parents and teachers in taking an active role in child protection,” Luistro said.
Lars Jorgensen, executive director of Stairway Foundation, said the role of parents is crucial in promoting online safety among children.
“According to our survey, 50 percent of the kids are given any kind of advice on how to properly use this very unrestricted space. And that’s scary, because it is full of dangers,” Jorgensen said.
“When a child is threatened they need to have a trusted adult to go to. That is why parents need to also know these things, so their children can go directly to them knowing their parents can relate to them,” he said.
The manual will soon be available for download on www.deped.gov.ph.
According to DepEd, the CyberSafe manual “will be continuously updated to address the ever changing landscape of online child protection and to cover other grade levels.”