Where are we at with Cybersafety Education?

It goes without saying that every parent and teacher wants young children to be educated in online cybersafety and have the ability to make safe choices online. When it comes to who should be responsible for this education the answer is not quite as clear.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority found that whilst 93% of parents wanted to learn more about how to keep their child safe online, only 13% had attended a cybersafety presentation. Parents lead busy lives, and the option to attend a presentation in the evening is not always practical or convenient.

A survey of Australian teachers found that 85% of those surveyed felt that parents see cybersafety education as a responsibility of the school. On top of this, 80% of teachers believed that cybersafety should be a compulsory element of the education syllabus. So why is this not the case?

The Australian Government provides numerous resources for students, teachers, and parents to encourage awareness about the Internet and promote a safer online environment for our kids. The government also provides outlines for schools to follow to help implement cybersafe policies and information programs within the school community. Despite the availability of these resources and programs, they are only to be implemented at the discretion of each individual school. Unfortunately, whilst cyberbullying and other missuses of social media a rife throughout primary school aged children, it is not uncommon for children to go through primary school and receive little to no education on the consequences and dangers of poor online choices.

What can you do to ensure your child is well educated in cyber safety?? Visit the Australian Government website Cybersafety In Schools for some links to great cybersafety programs and resources that you can use to educate yourself and your child on cybersafety and online awareness. If you believe your child’s school is not providing enough cybersafety education, contact the school principal/parent liaison/ family educator, to discuss how cybersafety programs can be better promoted within the school community.

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