By Murigi Macharia
President Uhuru Kenyatta today asked parents, teachers and technology providers to ensure children only access a safer internet and use information technology responsibly.
The head of state told creative and technology providers to build child safety into their platforms and products whereas parents should enlighten themselves on when and how their children should interact with Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
President Kenyatta told all educators to continue acquiring the knowledge, skills and tools for teaching the safe and responsible use of ICTs and the internet by the young people.
“ It is our collective moral, social and legal responsibility to ensure that the internet is a safe place for our children”, said the President.
The president’s message was contained in a speech read on his behalf by the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Water and Natural Resources Professor Judy Wakhungu during the Safer Internet Day marked at the Precious Blood Secondary School, Riruta.
President Kenyatta told the youth the country looks upon them as a generation that makes a positive and responsible use of the internet to acquire and share knowledge, bridge gaps between communities and counter the narratives of hatred with love, peace and tolerance.
“You have seen the loss of life and devastation that hatred among people and communities has brought to our country and continent. I urge you to not only desist from hate speech but to pro-actively apply the lessons of love, tolerance, peace and understanding for peaceful co-existence that your parents and teachers work so hard to instill in you”, the president told the youth.
Schools that attended the occasion included the host, Makini, Dagoreti, Brookhouse and Buruburu Girls Secondary.
The ceremony was facilitated by Google Kenya and the Ministries of Education and Information and Technology among other institutions.
Although internet is one of the globally acclaimed and greatest resources, some of its challenges include the fact that the information and content flowing through the information super highway is uncensored, uncontrolled, unfiltered and anonymous.
The President asked the schools attending yesterday’s occasion and others from across the country to keep with the tradition of institutions that positively contribute to the social fabric of the country by instilling morality and positive values among the young people.
He also asked these institutions to come up with more recommendations and actions on how the country can tackle the menace of hate speech online.