Safer Internet Day Marked in Georgia

Safer Internet Day (SID) was marked for the first time in Georgia this year.  International community marks this day since 2005. On this occasion, the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia and the ISOC-Georgia co-organized the event dedicated to the SID with participation of the government agencies, the NGOs, academic circles and the international organizations.

The main event of the Safer Internet Day was held at the Room Hotel where the topical presentations were introduced by the representatives of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport, the Parliament Committee on Health and Social Affairs, the National Communication Commission, the LEPL Data Exchange Agency, the ISOC-Georgia and government and non-governmental organizations.

At the official opening of the meeting, the Chairman of the ISOC-Georgia Board, Irakli Gharibashvili, positively evaluated the fact that Georgia started to mark the Safe Internet Day As well as the involvement of the government agencies, businesses and the NGOs. “The Internet itself is a progressive phenomenon but there are number of dangers in its use and if we do not preserve children from the very beginning, we can gave bad outcomes,” – Irakli Gharibashvili said.

“The Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development is preparing a National Strategy for  safe Internet. An international organization – the International Telecommunication Union is providing assistance in this process,” – the Head of the Communications, Information and Modern Technologies Department of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, Ekaterine Kubusidze stated. As Kubusidze added, the Union prepared a guidebook that tells the ways of achieving the safer Internet.

According to Natia Zedginidze, the Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport, the Ministry of Education operates an educational information system that provides secure internet, personal data and electronic services and resources for all the schools that are in the system. In total there are 2085 schools. According to Zedginidze, the trainings are conducted in the resource centers, as well as in the schools to ensure safe, secure internet space. According to Natia Zedginidze, the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport also participates in the development of the National Strategy for Safe Internet.

Khatuna Ivanishvili, the Head of the Media Literacy Development Department of the Georgian National Communications Commission, talked about the activities introduced within the frames of the Safe Internet Day. According to her, the Commission has conducted trainings for schoolchildren and beneficiaries of homeless children homes called “My Internet is my choice - the importance of informed confirmation in the Internet space”. “Trainings have provided active involvement of children. The Commission intends to implement 5 important projects in the direction of Media Literacy in 2019. These projects will serve the main purpose - to develop children’s skills in making the right choice when they are surfing the Internet,” – Khatuna Ivanishvili noted. 

Within the frames of the Safe Internet Day, one-day training was held in the Tbilisi Technology Park. The topics of the training were as follows: Cyber-power (for senior pupils) and Cyber-bulling (for teachers, parents and resource officers). The techno-training was conducted through the live stream in all the innovations and technologies centers of the Georgian Innovation and Technology Agency.

Several thematic trainings were conducted in several schools of Tbilisi and the training was conducted by the Georgian National Communications Commission for the beneficiaries of the Rustavi Children’s Home. There were many other activities which include the following: at the LEPL 112, representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia conducted the workshop for pupils, a seminar on “Teenager, Internet Safety, Parent” was held at the National Library, representatives of the LEPL Data Exchange Agency provided relevant training, etc.

Secure Internet Day is marked upon the joint effort of the Insafe/INHOPE and the European Commission. It is a global movement dedicated to the creation of a safe Internet environment, especially for children and younger generation. The event is usually held on the second day of the second week of February. Every year millions of people join and participate in various activities around the world. Involvement in the event serves to main purpose – promote the level of awareness of the security issues on the Internet and positive changes in the digital world.

Safe Internet Day aims to create of more secure and better Internet service, increase awareness on the security issues and develop appropriate skills of “digital literacy” especially within children and adolescents, as well as their parents and teachers.

Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia. 2017 ©