Belgrade, 10 October 2018 - What are the benefits of using the Internet and what dangers are lurking? What does digital literacy mean?
Pupils of the “Laza Kostic” Primary School have learned the answers to these questions at a UNICEF-organised workshop today. They also received brochures on "Children and the Internet - Smart from the Beginning" that give specific tips to children, but also to their parents and teachers.
"Safe and constructive use of digital devices and the Internet means that children and adults are digitally literate – that they know how to search the Internet and critically assess information, and have adequate digital communication skills to create digital contents, behave safely and solve problems in the digital environment", says Tanja Rankovic, UNICEF Education Specialist, pointing out that "the right to digital literacy is one of the basic child rights in the digital age".
"We must emphasize the responsibility of adults - parents, educators, teachers, decision-makers, whose role is to protect and support children to exercise their rights in the digital world. Digital literacy is one of the eight key competencies in regular education", said Rankovic.
UNICEF, with the support of Telenor company, and in cooperation with the Serbian Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development and the Uzice Child Rights Center, has launched the "Safe Internet for the whole family" project with the aim of reducing the exposure of young children to online risks.
"Since we are a telecommunications company, our mission is to help children understand that the digital world provides unlimited opportunities for learning, advancement and entertainment, but that it also can bring some risks. The only way to achieve this goal is not to isolate but to educate, not only children, but also parents, guardians and teachers. Our task, as the adults, is to create a safe digital environment for the children", said Milica Begenisic, Sustainability and Events Manager at Telenor company.
A guide for teachers and educators has also been developed within the project and will be used in educating children about digital safety.
The application of the guide will be piloted from October 2018 to April 2019 in five schools with first grade children and in five kindergartens in the cities of Kragujevac, Nis, Novi Sad, Uzice and Belgrade.
"We have organized eight interactive workshops on the safe use of the Internet for the first and second grade pupils in our school and four workshops for their parents. The final workshop will be most interesting as it will be for both children and parents who, using digital technology in practice, will come up with a solution on the best and safest way to be part of the digital world", said Dragana Djokic, a teacher and the project leader in the Primary School "Laza Kostic".
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/serbia