DepEd chief concerned over children’s use of social media Print
Wednesday, 15 August 2018 14:36

Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones is concerned over the pervasiveness of social media and the dangers it poses among children.

“You cannot avoid social media. The influence, depth and degree of penetration of social media in all human activities are very wide-ranging,” Briones said.

This is why DepEd will develop a social media literacy program in schools in its bid to protect children from the perils of the internet, including fake news and misinformation.

In its State of the World’s Children Report published December of last year, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) reported that 1 out of 3 internet users worldwide are children. The same report emphasized “too little is done to protect them from the perils of the digital world and to increase their access to safe online content”.

Moreover, the Philippines ranks first in time spent on the internet, according to a report published last year by social media management platform Hootsuite and consultancy firm We are Social Ltd.

Leading international software company Kaspersky Lab identified internet risks that children face online, which include cyber bullying, cyber predators, posting of private information, among others.

DepEd Undersecretary Lorna Dino explained that currently, social media literacy is incorporated with one of the tracks of the K-12 curriculum. However, considering the magnitude of social media and the internet, the department will develop a separate track dedicated on this, after thorough consultations with their stakeholders.

“Let’s start with developing the learners’ skills of discernment like how to discern facts from fake news and how to react to social media posts,” Dino said.

Secretary Briones added social media is a powerful information tool, but just as much, it can also be used to spread lies.

The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) has initially expressed intent to help develop this social media literacy program with the DepEd, said Briones. (EDT/DIS/PIA9-Zamboanga City)