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Self-regulation on the Internet is the best means of avoiding privacy violations, but  schools and parents should participate in disciplining and educating children to be good digital citizens- The Supreme Court of the Philippines

The decision of the Supreme Court (Philippines) recorded on GR 202666, emphasized the collaborative role of academic institutions and parents in “disciplining and educating” kids to be good and responsible digital citizens.

Cyberwellness Education in the Philippines

Long before this landmark decision, and even before the signing of data privacy, anti-cybercrime and anti-bullying laws, this writer has been advocating cyber wellness education for kids, parents and school officials. Cyber wellness, this writer believed, is key to raising kids to be responsible digital citizens, and it also equip parents, guidance counselors, discipline officers and teachers in their respective roles in molding kids to be good digital citizens.

Cyber wellness education is what will bind parents and academic institutions towards a common goal, working hand on hand, to raise a responsible and good citizens, both online and offline.


What is Cyber Wellness?


Cyber wellness is the positive behavior of digital citizens. Cyberwellness education includes the (1) different online risks and the behaviors (including cyber bullying) associated with it and (2) the basic and practical approaches in protecting themselves from these risks.

It is of this writers’ opinion that a proactive stakeholder will engage the youth in their digital culture not only to be relevant, but also to be effective in his/her role. Unless we connect and engaged these kids in their culture, kids may find our teaching not applicable or irrelevant to their online activities. The values and lessons we want them to embrace, to be appreciated, should be connected and applied to their digital environment.


What Schools Should Do


Most top tier, and some private schools I worked with are already doing this, I hope public schools and others will consider these initiatives:

  • Include in the faculty development (including guidance counselors) seminar a session on online intelligence or digital and social media literacy (on top of the bullying prevention seminar which is already mandatory given the anti-bullying law)
  • Provide cyber wellness seminar to students per level.
  • Integrate online scenarios in values subject, i.e. applying GMRC.
  • For public school, on top of the learning initiative, to collaborate with the barangay and internet shop operators in their immediate area for basic filtering and online safety of kids.


What Parents Can Do


Parents organization can organize a learning event that will bring awareness to the available online tools to help them keep kids safe, and other informations on digital parenting.

Likewise, it will be value adding if parent organizations can organize a cyber wellness session for their nannies and kasambahays. When family safety is concern, the entire household should be on the same page.


What Other Professional Organizations Can Do


Assuming the school will not be able to provide sessions relative to social web and online games, the proactive stance of the professional groups (guidance counselors, teachers and librarians) will be of great help in ensuring their field is relevant not only on the latest academic, professional and licensure requirements, but also on the practical and day to day wit when guiding kids on internet and social media use.


What Religious Groups Can Do


Most churches, regardless of affiliation, have a homogenous ministry to cater to the specific need of that group. We have been invited on various occasions to give a seminar for the youth, young professionals and parents about cyber wellness.


Digitech Visayas


Digitech Visayas with Sonnie Santos

Presently, I have an on-going collaboration with PrimeTrade Asia. We are on the same page as far as providing awareness on the digital and technological advancement to the academic sector, and providing information and tools in the performance of their role. Check Digitech Visayas and feel free to join us, if you are from the area.


Advocating Cyber Wellness since 2010


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