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Minister extends cybersafety training for schools

9 May 2005

Minister extends cybersafety training for schools

The first in a new nationwide round of workshops devoted to delivering cybersafety in schools was launched in Palmerston North today by the Associate Education Minister David Benson-Pope.

“These workshops will help members of school boards of trustees understand the challenges posed by technology to the physical and emotional safety of students,” Mr Benson-Pope said. "Unfortunately, cyberspace is a place where perpetrators of electronic crime can victimise the unsuspecting, and an environment which can facilitate anti-social behaviour like bullying and harassment.

“Board members will learn in these modules how best to exercise their responsibility as trustees to maximise the benefits of cyber technologies, while minimising and managing risks."

This is the first of a series of around 200 “NetSafe” workshops that will take place in 19 centres around New Zealand and run until December this year. It is an extension of a successful pilot series of 30 workshops carried out last year by Multi Serve Education Trust, which is licensed by the Internet Safety Group (ISG) to deliver its NetSafe training modules. The government has provided $300,000 to enable these workshops to be delivered across the country with the subsidy ensuring the costs of the workshops are kept as low as possible.

“For our children to achieve to their full potential and develop as life-long learners, we need to recognise our collective responsibility to create and maintain technology enriched learning environments; environments that are both safe and productive,” he said.

"Schools must give students the practical skills students need to safely negotiate all aspects of cyberspace," Mr Benson-Pope said.

In addition to boards of trustees, workshops will also be delivered to other key school personnel: school principals, cybersafety managers, ICT managers and library personnel.

The workshop modules have been developed by the Internet Safety Group (ISG) with funding from the Ministry of Education. They build on information in ISG’s Netsafe® Kit for Schools, also supported by the Ministry of Education and distributed to all schools. ISG is the Ministry of Education’s designated agent of choice for internet safety resources, advice and professional development.

ENDS

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