The First Lady Counsels World Youths on Cyber Safety – Emphasizes Role of Mothers

The First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, has stated that there are immense benefits as well as vulnerabilities associated with the use of the internet. She maintained that the mother, as a child’s first teacher, has a crucial role to play in educating children from a tender age, and making them aware of the benefits and risks of using the internet. The First Lady stated this today, 10/09/2013, while addressing world youths at an interactive forum, at the ongoing Global Youth Summit: BYND 2015, which opened on September 8, 2013 in San Jose, Costa Rica and ends on September 11, 2013.
Dame Patience observed that since children are being introduced to online activity at an increasingly younger age, mothers must create time to develop friendship and trust with their children, while opening up communication channels so that children would feel free to discuss their online experiences with their mothers.
The First Lady cautioned youths against giving out sensitive information about themselves to strangers online and also stressed the importance of sensible management of time while youths are online so that they do not become addicted to the internet.
Dame Patience talked about the cultural aspects of the internet and advised youths to understand and appreciate their own culture, while respecting other cultures. She maintained that it was important for youths to filter online contents that are not acceptable in their own culture.

In her remarks, the President of Costa Rica, Madame Laura Chinchilla, stated that one of the objectives of the Summmit was to “listen to the voices of the youth” so that their safety online could be improved. She stated that the internet was the “hope for the development and evolution of mankind.” She however cautioned that the freedom of the internet also imposes responsibilites on its users.
Speaking earlier, Dr. Hamadoun I. Touré. ITU Secretary General, stated that online users must maintain the same measure of security while in the online world, as they would in the real world offline.
Six youths drawn from the six geo-political zones of Nigeria are participating in the Youth Summit. On their return to Nigeria, they will share their experiences and train other Young people on online safety.

A.O. Adesugba (Mrs.)
Director (Information)
10th September, 2013

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