The Independent reported that social media is damaging children’s mental health. Nine in ten children were found to have been bullied online or exposed to disturbing material. “Most headteachers have received reports of pupils being exposed to upsetting material on social media sites – including self-harm, bullying, hate speech and sexual content, a poll by the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) has found”.
With the rise of social media, bullying has become more rampant. Unlike traditional news or media agencies, users share and post content as they like on social media. This is what attracts children as they can be in constant virtual contact with their friends and social media gives them a stake in the online space. Fake news is also rampant everywhere. Even in Singapore, the government is now debating on legislation tools for combating fake news.
As educators, we must ensure online spaces for learning are safe. We must teach our students necessary skills to combat cyber-bullying and to behave responsibly online. It is critical that our student have the right skills as well to combat any negativity that may impact them from the online world.
At Anthony Fok Education Advisory (AFEA), educators are trained to equip students with the right skills for a safe and fulfilling education journey. I set up AFEA with the objective of instilling lifelong skills in students that will help them beyond their education, and work with many industry experts and professional child counsellors to customise such solutions.
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