MAKATI – The Department of Education (DepEd), together with its partners Stairway Foundation and the Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines (IMMAP), received an excellence award for the #BeCyberSafe Project during the 3rd Annual Philippines OpenGov Leadership Forum.
DepEd Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones expressed her appreciation of the said recognition, which she believes will bolster the efforts of the Department in ensuring the best interest of the learners: “I am likewise grateful to IMMAP and Stairway Foundation for their unwavering commitment to help DepEd in safeguarding the cybersafety of our children.”
The said recognition of excellence is aimed at honoring government agencies for their outstanding achievement in using Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to engage and empower citizens, simplify and improve the clientele’s experience, enhance people’s collaboration with the government, and integrate and update existing systems.
Mohit Sagar, Group Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of the OpenGov Recognition of Excellence 2019 further touted the award as a celebration of the Philippine government agencies that are striving toward excellence in strategies, policies, and initiatives.
Child protection in the cybersphere
Launched in November last year, the #BeCyberSafe Project aims to further educate learners, teachers, parents, the school, and the community on how children can be safe in the online world. Consisting of three major components, namely, Project for Keeps, Dalir-Eskwela, and Chatbot, the #BeCyberSafe project also ensures that the scope of child protection extends to the cybersphere.
Project for Keeps is a social media movement and the awareness raising component of the program, while Dalir-Eskwela features a range of educational materials including videos, brochures, and posters that discuss issues on cybersafety. Chatbot, which is still in its development phase, is a social media page with a messaging feature which will be used as a helpline where child protection issues faced in the cyberspace may be reported and addressed.
“Through the #BeCybersafe Project, we teach children digital life skills. We cannot build impenetrable fences around children in a borderless cyberworld, which they enter on their own most of the time. Instead, we equip them with defenses. We empower children to be responsible and equipped netizens themselves. That is the best tool to promote the best interest of the child online,” DepEd OIC-Undersecretary for Legal Affairs, Atty. Josephine Maribojoc, stated.
IMMAP Executive Director Aye Ubaldo, Stairway Foundation Senior Advocacy Officer Ysrael Diloy, and DepEd Office of the Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Focal Person for Child Protection Edna Ramirez received the award during the ceremonies held at the New World Hotel in Makati on April 25.