Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Imran Mojib, Special Correspondent
More than 6,000 students across 27 schools run by Gems Education in the UAE have been approached to join the KPMG Cyber Day programme that aims to raise awareness about the importance of cyber security and online safety.
Launched by KPMG Lower Gulf for the first time in the UAE, the programme has been running internationally for three years. This year’s participants include 55 other countries such as the US, UK, Spain, China and Australia. The training material has been created by KPMG’s Global Cyber Security practice and sessions will be led by member firms’ cyber experts across the identified schools.
More than 50 KPMG professionals have volunteered to carry out trainings in the UAE, and will host cyber security educational sessions for students as part of this annual initiative. The programme coincides with International Cyber Security Awareness month, which aims to build a culture of cyber security around the world.
Tim Wood, Head of Cyber Security at KPMG Lower Gulf, said, “According to recent studies, nearly half of young people spend more than three hours per day on social media. Given that young people are spending more time online it’s increasingly important to raise awareness among students to ensure they behave safely and responsibly online. With GEMS Education, we are taking a positive step in this direction, and we look forward to empowering more students with the tools necessary to stay cyber safe.”
According to a recent Children’s Society UK report, nearly half (44%) of young people spend more than three hours per day on social media, and almost one in ten (9%) use social media between midnight and 6am. The same study found that young people who are currently experiencing a mental health problem are more than three times likely to have been bullied online in the last year.
Krishnan Gopi, Chief Disruption Officer of GEMS Education, said, “Digital adoption is bringing about positive change in many areas of our lives. However, the proliferation of technology also challenges us to better understand issues related to its use among children, including their safety and wellbeing. It is crucial that we lead by example and educate future generations about cyber-crime. We firmly believe that promoting awareness among our students and community is the key to online safety.”
Sara Hedger, Head of Safeguarding and Child Protection at GEMS Education said, “We believe the key to being safe in the digital world is not banning or restricting technology but to educate students, parents and staff about positive online behaviours and raise awareness of how their interactions with technology can have safety implications.
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