Internet Society, Nigeria Chapter (ISOCNG) Celebrated 2021 Safer Internet Day (SID) Across Nigeria.
SID celebration since 2004 has been an annual event that comes up on the second day, of the second week, of the second month, which is February. It focuses on discussing the safety of internet use, and technology at large with school pupils. ISOCNG decided to have a larger engagement on the discussion on the safe use of the Internet, this year by observing the year’s Safe Internet Day, 9th and the following day, 10th February for the SID2021 celebration. This idea took the safer internet discussion beyond school pupils, as both young and old were involved in the Two-Day event that cut across the regions of the country in a pandemic/social distancing era, but with the help of the internet.
Day One, 9th February 2021, the society, ISOCNG had representatives in several schools across the regions of the country. These schools were used as hubs for the celebration of SID2021. In collaboration with teachers and management of the schools, Information Technology stakeholders in the different communities, the ISOCNG representatives, who are from the Executive and/or General membership of the society had discussions with the kids on different internet related topics, with the general theme as “Safe Use of the Internet for Nigerians”. Some of the other knowledge shared were introduction to ISOC Nigeria, explanation on what Safer Internet Day means and how they can apply safety measures online by understanding some dos and don’ts of the internet, exposure to steps needed to make use of the internet safely, and also encouraged to have good habits and attitude while online.
The meaning and effects of Fake News, and how it may lead to harm was also taught, as well as learning and understanding some key terms like Misinformation, Clickbait, Hoax, Online Scam, Catfishing, Phishing, Impostor, etc. The students were also given time to ask questions on the topics and other related issues.
The Hub Managers made sure they complied with the government set COVID-19 protocols of social distancing, maintaining a crowd of not more than 50 in a spacious hall, and Internet Society branded facemasks were distributed to everybody in the hubs across the country.
Day Two, 10th of February 2021, started with an overview report of the Day One, by Adebunmi Akinbo, the Secretary General of ISOCNG, and then reports from representatives to schools across the country, which featured the list of activities the pupils were engaged in, as well as the information and knowledge shared.
The report was followed with the panel discussion on the topic “Internet for Social Good and Governance”. The panel had stakeholders across government, private sectors and the civil societies. The president of ISOCNG, Caleb Ogundele, who doubled as the moderator of the webinar allowed the panelists to do justice to the questions thrown at them. Questions ranging from the scope and missions of the organizations represented, to their roles in having a secure internet for all. The webinar session ended with questions from the audience, and adequate responses from the panelists.
At the end, Caleb made it known that ISOCNG will continue with the idea of having SID celebration taken to schools across the federation, and that the target now is to have it celebrated in the whole 36 states and the FCT of the federation, come next year. The Vice President, Kunle Olorundare gave the vote of thanks, and the event was closed.