Dated: 10 March 2004
Boon and bane and managing the twain - this is the constant challenge that confronts the Media Development Authority (MDA) and the Parents Advisory Group for the Internet (PAGi).
The efforts of agencies in helping Singaporean parents and their children reap the benefits of the Internet while staying clear of its less than wholesome aspects have not gone unnoticed by WiredKids. The US-based global Internet safety organization is presenting the MDA and PAGi with the top global inaugural awards this weekend.
The MDA will be the recipient of the WiredKids Child Protector Award and the WiredKids Excellence in Internet Awareness Award.
PAGi, a non-profit voluntary group promoting Internet safety in Singapore, will be given the WiredKids Excellence in Internet Awareness Award, while its founding Chairman, Mrs Carmee Lim will receive the WiredKids Child Protector Award.
In presenting its Child Protector Award to the MDA, Dr Parry Aftab, Executive Director of WiredKids, noted, "The MDA, and as the then-Singapore Broadcasting Authority, has been concerned with the safe use of the Internet by children as early as 10 years ago when the Internet was fast merging as the tool for communication and information in the new century. Thanks to their foresight and continuous efforts, many countries, especially those in Asia have turned to Singapore for advice on how the medium can be used to benefit the young.
Dr Aftab added "The MDA also receives the WiredKids Excellence in Internet Awareness Award for its online safety educational work and for helping to set up the uniquely PAGi." The MDA has actively supported various public education programmes such as those under the National Internet Advisory Committee (NIAC)'s Public Education Subcommittee and Cyber Wellness Task Force.
In 2001, the MDA set up the $5million Internet Public Education Scheme to support the development of products, processes and programmes that aim to equip Internet users with the knowledge, skills and tools to manage undesirable Internet content and the development of positive content. Through the fund, the agency encourages the industry and community to develop products and programmes that promote online safety awareness and the discerning use of the Internet.
PAGi was established in 1999 to help parents understand and appreciate the benefits of the Internet so that they can, in turn, guide their children to use the medium to its fullest potential. PAGi has some 300 volunteers and is led by a 22-member Steering Committee, chaired by Mrs Carmee Lim.
Since its formation, PAGi has involved over 60,000 families through its Internet safety workshops and talks, as well as community events. It maintains strong ties with various with local and overseas partners such as in the United Kingdom, United States of America, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. PAGi has conducted two national surveys on Internet use and, parents and teenagers' perceptions in 2000 and 2003. The recent survey was held in conjunction with the Nordic countries and Ireland, where PAGi represented Singapore, the only Asian country in the cross-cultural study.
Mrs Carmee Lim, who heads PAGi since 1999, is a life-long educationist and is recognised for her efforts in educating our children. As the former Principal of Raffles Girls School (1988-1999), her vision was to establish it as the best independent school for girls in Singapore. Under Mrs Lim's dynamic leadership, PAGi has grown from strength to strength. As part of PAGi's efforts to 'spread its wings' internationally, Mrs Lim is spearheading PAGi's efforts in promoting the importance and need for Internet safety among all parents in Singapore, especially among non-English speaking families.
MDA and PAGi at the PAGi Families Week Carnival on Saturday 13 March at 11.30 am at IMM Building, Level 3.
While in Singapore from 11 to 14 March, Dr Parry will also be visiting schools to meet with local students on their views of the Internet, and present a talk where parents and other members of the public can get advice on guiding their children's use of the Internet and some of the merging trends in Internet use by the young. The talk, "Meet Parry", will be held at the Toa Payoh Central Community Club on Friday, 12 March 2004 from 7pm to 8.30pm.
Contacts for more information
Ms Cecilia Yip
Assistant Director, Public Affairs
Media Development Authority
DID: 6372 2821
Ms Cheong Tyng-Tyng
Assistant Manager, Public Affairs
Media Development Authority
DID: 6372 2854
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