The Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) has called for the promotion of online safety practices for the development of the nation.

Prof. Ismail Junaidu, Executive Secretary of NERDC, said this at the Critique Workshop for the Development of Online Safety Curriculum for Nigerian Schools in Nasarawa State on Tuesday.

The workshop, organised by the Public and Private Development Centre (PPDC), was in partnership with NERDC and Google.

The workshop was the third in its series aimed at developing an online safety module for integration into the school curriculum.

The executive secretary said that the incorporation of an online safety into school curriculum was critical to national needs particularly in the areas of value orientation, economic and social stabilisation and human capital development.

According to him, the curriculum is not being developed as a standalone school subject but will be infused into existing school subjects.

He said the main intention was to use education, which was a more sustainable approach to tackling national issues, to reverse some of the paradoxical indices of development as a nation.

“Between 2015 and 2019, we have had cause to develop a number of new curricula and as well revised some of the existing ones. These efforts are geared towards meeting some critical national needs and restoration of national pride and human dignity.

“The idea of developing an online safety curriculum came also from the same perspective. Even though we had this burden, as an institution, we met some limitations in our efforts towards its actualisation,” he said.

Junaidu added that the online safety curriculum was being prepared to, among other things, enable learners acquire basic knowledge, skills and competencies for safe internet use.

He said it would also equip learners with skills to enhance their capacity to effectively use the internet to their benefit and that of the society.

He said that the online safety would also provide learners with appropriate knowledge, skills and disposition needed for effective use of online tools and emerging technology.

Mrs Nkemdikim Ilo, Chief Executive Officer, PPDC urged the government, policy makers and NGOs to learn about the experiences of online use from young Nigerians.

According to her, once the online safety curriculum is adopted, every Nigerian child will have access to it and will support continued education and awareness for all users.

“It will also promote the development and adoption of new safety technologies.

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