Cyberspace has brought many advantages to all of us. Most of us, learners, teachers and parents, have grown almost totally dependent on cyberspace for our everyday recreation, social networking, communication, etc. We can hardly imagine a day without cell phones, the Internet, Google, Facebook, YouTube and many more Internet and cyber-based services.
Along with all of these advantages in cyberspace came a whole series of cyber related risks. Sharing too much private information, cyber bullying, exposure to paedophiles, sexting, losing money are merely a few of these modern-day cyber-related risks we need to contend with and educated our children about.
The Group for Research in Information and Cyber Security (GRICS) at the NMMU has developed a curriculum to teach cyber safety to learners in Primary Schools as the Department of Basic Education has not really addressed this very important issue yet. The goal of this curriculum for teaching cyber safety is basically twofold;
- to empower teachers at primary schools to offer such cyber safety lessons and
- to educate learners of age groups 10 to about 14 the basic principles of cyber safety relevant to their typical activities in cyberspace.
The proposed curriculum is making it easy for teachers to present, discuss and assess various aspects of cyber safety with their learners in class or in an IT laboratory. The teachers will also be educated to some degree in the process to be able to assist learners with cyber safety issues and problems like; cyber bullying, sexting, etc.