‘Refusing to misuse and abuse technology’

Beacon Young Leaders have embarked on a major initiative to promote the positive use of technology among their peers  under the school’s theme” “Refusing to misuse and abuse technology.”

 Beacon Young Leaders

Beacon Young Leaders

Under the 2015 Royal Bank of Canada  (RBC) Young Leaders programme formerly known as the RBTT Young Leaders, the group from the Beacon High School, along with some help from their teachers and School Principal Cheryl Bernabe-Bishop have designed a “code of conduct policy” to guide the proper use of technology among the students.

In an exclusive interview with THE NEW TODAY newspaper, Form 4 student and Beacon Young Leaders Public Relation Officer, Veronica Toussaint, said, “We have created a policy to educate and guide students, but not only students – the whole nation on digital citizenship and how to use technology wisely”.

The Beacon Learning Centre appears to have beaten the authorities in the development of such a critical policy, which this newspaper understands the Ministry of Education is just making attempts to develop one.

According to Bernabe-Bishop, the policy, which took approximately one month to develop has been sent to Acting Chief Education Officer in the Ministry of Education, Elvis Morain for consideration.

She expressed optimism that “it could be used as a blue print or a platform for them (the Ministry of Education) to use,” and that the policy would eventually “be introduced to all secondary schools in Grenada.“

Additionally, she said, character education is another major aspect that schools must implement.

“Character underpins the very fabric of society and if all children, if we understand what are good character traits, then I am certain that our students would not commit online crimes…and because the school is a central place of learning, the school then has the leverage,” the school principal pointed out while admitting that a lot of work has to be done at home as well.

It is believed that some secondary school students have been affected
through the misuse of technology, leaving a lifetime blemish on their reputation.

The PRO of Beacon Young Leaders said the newly developed policy puts measures in place to deal with such issues and sets out consequences that can be applied for those who do not comply with the rules.

“So what would happen is when we disobey the code” such as “watching inappropriate online sites…or commit any online crimes…if whoever finds out and tells the principal, you would have consequences, such as suspension and detention, she remarked.

Bernabe-Bishop described the initiative as “extremely important” for the school and underscored the fact that a lot of young persons abuse and misuse technology not realising that if you commit a crime online that that crime can be punishable by law.

She painted a picture of a scenario where a someone who “might go on there (online) to do something wrong about somebody else’s life…messing with that person’s reputation…we have the perpetrator who commits the crime and feel that because they are anonymous they cannot be found.”

Bernabe-Bishop who pointed out that “years to follow” online crime “can haunt the particular person” asserted that “it’s time for us (Grenadians) to know that whatever we do in cyber space is permanent” and that it “can be found out because you leave a trail behind” and “because it (online crime) is punishable by law, a person could decide to go on and take action against you.”

“We want them to understand that and that when you go online, whatever you put into cyber space is permanent. It leaves a trail behind and that trail is lasting, she said.

“It”s time for us to take ownership for our actions online…so we want our students to refrain from the negative use (and) leaving negative footprints… we must educate, we must protect and we must respect,” she added.

Beacon, which has won the approximately three-month RBC Young Leaders title, on previous occasions, is also hoping to be victorious once again this year.

The programme, which was expected to culminate at the Trade Centre on Thursday, was held under the  national theme: “Digital Citizenship, Responsible Navigating Technology.”

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