Parents need training in use of technology

BY: Rebecca Kwei

The Ghana Internet Safety Foundation (GISF) has developed a programme known as the Parent University to provide parents and caregivers with knowledge on information technology to enable them to keep an eye on the activities of youngsters who use modern technological gadgets.

In an interview, the Co-founder and President of the foundation, Mr Emmanuel Adinkrah, said parents were the first mediators of digital use by children and, therefore, must have the knowledge to guide the children along the right path.

He noted that there had been an increase in online-related activities that impacted negatively on children, stressing that there was the need for parents to be given basic training in the use of technology.

He mentioned some of the challenges faced by children and the vices they engaged in as Internet addiction, addiction to pornography, sexting, phone sex, sextortion, online blackmail and poor English grammar.

Mr Adinkrah said some young people whom the foundation spoke to confessed to being involved in either one or two of those immoral acts.

He said a core component of the Parent University’s curriculum was Digital Parenting, where participants are taught the basics in digital technology to enable them to shape the way their children use digital media.

He said the six-month programme was important to bridge the gap between traditional parenting and digital parenting.

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“It is to empower parents and whoever sees to the welfare of children to effectively raise their tech-savvy children,” he added.

Participants are taken through activities such as coaching on the use of smart devices and guidelines on how to implement digital parenting in homes.

He said the programme was tailored to meet the needs of parents who could read or write and those who could not.

“Every responsible parent must make the effort to learn or be taught at least the basics of digital media, so that they can help shape the future generation,” Mr Adinkrah said.

The Parent University series, which started last year across the country, has so far trained more than 4,000 parents, guardians, caregivers and children.