In celebration of the ‘Safer Internet Day’ (SID), Connectivity Partner to Digital Bangladesh Grameenphone has initiated a unique interactive session on February 09, 2021, at GP House. Eminent litterateur Anisul Hoque along with Yasir Azman, CEO of Grameenphone illumined the various aspects of the internet and its uses as they engaged in a gratifying discussion children.
The arrangement’s core purpose was to help the children gain a better understanding of the vast sphere of the internet and raise awareness regarding the probable adverse impacts of it in their lives. COVID-19 pandemic has confined humankind inside the walls of their homes, limiting the scopes to explore the world outside to grow from the inside. Thus, children have been left with very little option but to use the online tools for their education and entertainment. However, often, it has been observed that many offenders tend to get the advantage of the children’s naivety through online media. Children, gullible, give away their passwords and other sensitive information to such offenders, who would then use it for serving their unruly purposes.
Grameenphone stepped up to raise concern against such vulnerability by arranging the discussion between the children and the respected personalities who are popular among the children and have a better ability to blend in for a successful outcome. Children spoke up about critical issues, such as – how much to share on social media, how to maintain the privacy of personal contents, how to communicate with strangers, whom to inform in case of any data breach, how to identify fake information, how to verify the authenticity of any news and more during the conversations.
Ole Bjorn Sjulstad, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Khairul Basher, Head of Communications, Anjum Rasna Hasan, Deputy Director, Strategic Projects and Partnerships of Grameenphone were also present at the session.
Replying to queries of the children of what are the measured GP has taken so far to keep the internet safe? Yasir Azman, CEO of Grameenphone, said, “We have seen how digitalization helped us tackle the challenges of COVID 19 using connectivity. Now that our future generation spending more time on online platforms, they are also more exposed to risks and vulnerabilities. International Safer Internet Day rings the bell once again about Grameenphone’s role along with our partners to step up, collaborate better with society, address our children’s concerns and offer them a safer online space.”
He suggested children to become more friendly with parents to share any kind of offense or bullying that they may have experienced on the internet. He said, “Don’t think you are alone in this. We are all beside you to ensure your safety. Just like other problems in your life, when you face trouble on the internet, don’t hesitate to discuss it with friends and family”.
“You must speak out so that we can have safe internet for all,” he added.
“Parents are the best and most trustable friends in the world. They always want the best for you. Tell your parents if you face any issues on the internet. They want the best thing for you, forever,” said Anisul Hoque, Editor of Kishor Alo, a Youth Megazine.
Additionally, ‘Digiworld Bangla’ (https://gpsocial.co/digiworld), a learning resource designed in Bangla to help children between the ages of 5 and 16 develop online understanding and strengthen digital resilience in their own language was launched last year. This global online curriculum with immense possibilities was developed for children, families, and schools by international experts Parent Zone together with Telenor Group, Grameenphone and was made possible in partnership with UNICEF.
In its consistent effort to develop a safer online sphere, Grameenphone had previously developed a Parents’ Guide in 2015 in partnership with UNICEF and Telenor to sensitize parents, guardians, and teachers. The company also reinforced its commitment to continue its efforts towards a safer internet by training over 1 million children and over 270,000 teachers, parents, and guardians while reaching out to over 20 million people through campaigning on online safety.