As part of its ongoing effort to engage with the community and support the education system in the UAE, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) and its subsidiary the United Arab Emirates Computer Emergency Response Team (aeCERT) held two bespoke workshops at Abu Dhabi’s International Community School on Thursday, November 7th, 2013. With participating students from grades 7 to 12, the workshops were interactive sessions and provided a unique platform for senior officials from the nation’s ICT regulator to discuss and promote safe online practices.
“With the increasing dependence of online platforms, the modern education landscape is changing rapidly. As the world becomes more connected, being equipped with the necessary skills to ensure the safety of your information in this space is essential,” said Tariq Al Hawi aeCERT Director. “Social media has a significant role to play in the way we all communicate and learn, not least for the nation’s young people. From managing your privacy settings to building a positive online reputation, encouraging safe online practices at home will aid the effort to secure the nation’s e-borders for us all. Ensuring the nation’s youth are fully up to speed with the latest safe online practices is essential,” he added.
“The pervasiveness of social media in the UAE is evident. With a young population that increasingly looks to these online networks to remain informed, socialize, and essentially connect with the rest of the world, it is critical that they are fully aware of the risks involved,” said Noor M Shamma, Acting Director of Corporate Communications, TRA. “The students we spoke to during the sessions are at a critical juncture in their educational development. Given their age they are also in the process of forming their personalities and learning to appreciate the positive impact social media can have, if used responsibly, is invaluable at this stage. This is what this workshop focuses on, she added.
In April of this year, the TRA ran a collaborative program with aeCERT and the Ministry of Education (MOE) designed to boost cyber security awareness among students at all stages of education. The initiative trained nearly 500 1st to 12th grade teachers from every Emirate on IT security best-practices, providing the core knowledge needed to enhance the IT curriculum. The November workshops are an extension of this effort to educate the nation’s school children with the latest sector knowledge and more events of its kind are planned for the future.