Google has supported the Kenya Scouts Association to hold the 2019 edition of Web Rangers, a youth programme for online safety, to mark Safer Internet Day.
The scheme has been run in over fifteen countries and was launched in Kenya in 2015.
This year, approximately 1.4 million scouts and 50,000 scout leaders and trainers are expected to receive the Kenya Scouts Association Online Safety Learners’ Handbook and Teachers’ Guide, which will provide counsel on how to safely navigate online platforms.
“Google is proud to be a partner of the Kenya Scouts Association, Kenya’s largest youth movement, in scaling the Web Rangers program to empower an even greater number of young people to be safe and responsible users of the Internet,” said Michael Murungi, Google’s Policy & Government Relations Lead for East Africa.
According to McAfee Security, 87 percent of youth today have witnessed cyberbullying, while nearly 69% have experienced it.
This year, the Safer Internet Day theme is: “Together for a better Internet”. The slogan is a call to action for all stakeholders to join together and play their part in creating a better internet for everyone, and especially for younger users.
“I consider the safe and responsible use of the internet to be a vital skill for the virtuous and patriotic youth of the 21st century… Programmes such as Google’s Web Rangers and its partnership with the Kenya Scouts Association are a very welcome complement to the work that parents, teachers, guardians, and the Government do in building a better world for our children,” said Prof. Margaret Kobia, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Public Service, Youth & Gender Affairs in a speech presented on her behalf by Dr. Francis Owino, Principal Secretary in the State Department for Youth Affairs.
From cyberbullying to social networking, each year, Safer Internet Day aims to raise awareness of emerging issues connected to the usage of online platforms.
Google is also collaborating with the Kenya Scouts Association, CODE-IP Trust and the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development to launch an online safety manual.