GEMS Education marks Safer Internet Day with organisation-wide awareness campaigns

09 February 2021

  • Students of all ages and curricula are taking part in cyber-education initiatives
  • GEMS First Point School - The Villa is developing a UAE cyber safety curriculum
  • GEMS Wellington Academy - Silicon Oasis students take UAE cyber law classes

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: GEMS Education is supporting Safer Internet Day today with a host of initiatives aimed at raising awareness of digital dangers such as misinformation, fake news and defamation.

With students spending more time online for learning and socialising, GEMS is actively ensuring that students are safe digitally and physically. GEMS schools are continually committed to ensuring that students of all ages, staff and parents are aware of the risks and opportunities of the online world.

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Students across the GEMS Education network are today participating in special classes and workshops that will help them to question what they see online, and be aware of how what they see makes them feel. Some schools will show special virtual assemblies on the topic and make additional space in the timetable for lessons such as cyber law in the UAE. 

Sara Hedger, Head of Child Safeguarding and Child Protection, said: “We’re pleased to be an active part of the Safer Internet Day campaign. We don’t want young people to be afraid of the internet, we want to equip them to safely and confidently navigate the online world they so frequently inhabit. We are also proactively engaging with parents to keep them informed and supporting them to have important conversations about what young people may experience while online. GEMS Education also works closely with the UAE authorities to train our staff and students.”

GEMS has always supported digital education and safety, actively equipping students with the tools and understanding of the digital spaces they occupy.

At GEMS Wellington Academy – Silicon Oasis, secondary students will have UAE cyber law workshops to learn about online conduct in the UAE.

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James Spence, Lead Digital Practitioner, GEMS Wellington Academy – Silicon Oasis, said: “At GEMS Wellington Academy – Silicon Oasis, e-safety is something we engage with on purpose and in a practical manner.  That is why we offer our students the opportunity to explore UAE Cyber laws from a practising UAE lawyer. We believe students should have access to information that allows them to make informed choices when they are online. Safer Internet Day has given us a platform to explore how we can further develop an enriching and purposeful e-safety curriculum.”

GEMS First Point School - The Villa, a GEMS Centre of Excellence for Digital Industries, has developed a digital safety programme that includes key messages from industry professionals, students and parents. The resources are shared on the FPS website and it is regularly updated with new content, including Arabic translations. Parents have also found this resource valuable as they can learn and advise their children and others within the community on how to stay safe online.

GEMS First Point School – The Villa has the support of UK based eCadets programme, which is an award-winning resource that coaches students to become online safety experts, delivering and sharing their acquired expertise to their peers. Students at GEMS First Point – The Villa are now working with eCadets to develop a more UAE-specific curriculum taking into account regional and cultural laws and customs.

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Baldish Nijjar, Assistant Principal Specialism and Head of Centre of Excellence – Digital Industries, GEMS FirstPoint School – The Villa, said: “Staying safe online is a continuous process, we must ensure we are keeping up-to-date with the latest trends.

At GEMS FirstPoint School we have created a webpage dedicated to e-safety to support our extended community. We will share regularly updated content which includes information provided by industry experts, students and parents. Our Family First ethos is to ensure we support each other in the community and educate one another on ways to stay safe online.”