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Mothers should play crucial roles in Internet usage by children - First Lady

11 September 2013, 21:00

Abuja - The First Lady, Patience Jonathan, in Costa Rica on Wednesday urged mothers to educate their children from tender ages on the benefits and risks of using the internet.

This is contained in a statement signed by Ayotunde Adesugba, a Director of Information in the Presidency and released in Abuja.

According to the statement, Jonathan made the remarks at the closing ceremony of the four-day Global Youth Summit: BYND 2015, which opened on Sept. 8, in San Jose, Costa Rica.

She said: ''The mother, as a child’s first teacher, has a crucial role to play in educating children from their tender ages and making them aware of the benefits and risks of using the internet.

''Since children are being introduced to online activity at an increasingly younger age, mothers must create time to develop friendship and trust with their children...”

The first lady also urged parents to open up communication channels with their children “so that children would feel free to discuss their online experiences with their mothers.''

Jonathan said youths should not give out sensitive information about themselves to strangers online and stressed the importance of sensible management of time while youths are browsing the internet.

She said such a policy would ensure that “they do not become addicted to the internet.”

She urged youths to ''understand and appreciate their own culture, while respecting other cultures so as to filter online contents that are not acceptable in their own culture''.

In her closing remarks, the President of Costa Rica, Laura Chinchilla, stated that one of the objectives of the conference was to listen to the voices of the youths so that their safety online could be improved.

Chinchilla said that although the internet was the “hope for the development and evolution of mankind, the freedom of the internet should also impose responsibilities on its users''.

The statement further stated that six youths drawn from the six geo-political zones of Nigeria participated in the conference.

They are expected on their return to Nigeria to share their experiences and train other young people on online safety.



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