Google in partnership with Kenya Scouts Association launched the 2019 edition of Web Rangers, a youth programme for online safety. The Web Rangers initiative, which has been implemented in over 15 countries, was first launched in Kenya in 2015.
Michael Murungi, Google’s Policy & Government Relations Lead for East Africa said “Google is proud to be a partner of the Kenya Scouts Association in scaling the Web Rangers program to empower an even greater number of young people to be safe and responsible users of the internet”.
Safer Internet Day aims to raise awareness of emerging issues connected to the usage of online platforms on cyberbullying, social networking and cybercrime. Most harmful bullying behavior can include posting rumors, threats, sexual remarks, personal information, or pejorative labels (i.e., hate speech). Victims of cybercrime and cyberbullying experience anxiety, fear, depression, and even low self-esteem.
It has been estimated by McAfee Security that 87% of youth today have witnessed cyberbullying while nearly 69% have experienced it. This year’s Safer Internet Day themed, “Together for a better Internet”, is a prompt for all stakeholders to join together and play their part in creating a better internet for everyone, especially the young users.
“I consider the safe and responsible use of the internet to be a vital skill for the virtuous and patriotic youth of the 21st century. Programmes such as Google’s Web Rangers and its partnership with the Kenya Scouts Association are a very welcome complement to the work that parents, teachers, guardians, and the Government do in building a better world for our children,” said Prof. Margaret Kobia, the Cabinet Secretary of Ministry of Public Service, Youth & Gender Affairs.
Kenya Scouts Association will issue Online Safety Learner’s Handbook and Teachers’ Guide to about 1.4 million scouts and 50,000 scout leaders. Google is also collaborating with Kenya Scout Association, CODE-IP Trust and the Kenyan Institute of Curriculum Development to launch an online safety manual.
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