Speakers have said that as the world still grapples with the Covid-19 pandemic, it has become imperative that all individuals must have robust digital skills to navigate the online world with safety and ease. It is vital to equip teachers and students on the topics of digital literacy, digital safety and digital citizenship.
They were speaking at a roundtable conference titled “Digital citizenship: an urgent need for students and teachers”, jointly organised by Facebook and Idara e Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA).
The speakers said that while digital literacy was the knowledge of tools available online and how to use them, digital safety was the ability to identify and protect oneself from online threats. Both these elements were of vital importance for future generations that were being born as digital natives.
The event saw a brilliant lineup of government officials, educational policy experts, and civil society activists to brainstorm the future of Digital Citizenship in the country.
Punjab Governmet’s Minister for Education Murad Raas, who was the chief guest at the conference, emphasised the need for the incorporation of digital citizenship knowledge in student education. “Parents are important stakeholders for the interaction of children with technology but they are still not trained to know what online activity is appropriate or not. So, the role of teachers is more important than parents, because the child spends much more time at school than at home,” he said.
Director National Curriculum Council Dr Mariam Chughtai said that “the generation gap is now smaller than ever before. This means that children today are growing up in a world very different from even their older siblings. Any effort to prepare them for the world of tomorrow must put digital literacy at the centre of its ethos.”
ITA Chief Executive Officer Baela Raza Jamil said: “It is my belief that every adult and child must develop their digital skills so that they can succeed in the 21st century.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 19th, 2021.
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