Student ambassador programme for cyber wellness launched in Singapore

The Cyber Wellness Student Ambassador Programme was recently launched to promote safe and responsible use of Information‐Communication Technologies (ICT) among students through peer education. The programme is a part of the BackPack LIVE! Education Initiative led by Singapore's Ministry of Education (MOE), the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) and Microsoft Singapore. It will target students at Primary 4 and Secondary 2 levels, and kick off with 47 primary and 44 secondary schools in November 2009.

The Cyber Wellness Student Ambassador Programme will not only equip students with knowledge and skills on how to use online tools safely, but will also provide schools with an extended platform to complement and support their existing cyber wellness education efforts. Through positive peer influence and peer education, the Programme will provide a platform for cyber wellness messages to be delivered from the viewpoint of the youth. Student Ambassadors will also benefit from their direct involvement as they are actively engaged in planning and designing activities to propagate cyber wellness messages.
“One of our overall objectives with BackPack LIVE! is to enable our students to be confident and discerning in using ICT to learn effectively anytime, anywhere. Having students get directly involved in the planning of cyber wellness programmes will heighten awareness of safety concerns and drive adoption of positive cyber habits within the student community. There is scope for students themselves to play an active role in promoting cyber wellness among their peers.” said Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Home Affairs, at the launch of the Cyber Wellness Student Ambassador Programme on 23 November. “We are glad to collaborate with our partners to help achieve these outcomes.”

Following the launch, Microsoft Singapore will also be working closely with the Cyber Wellness Student
Ambassadors on the creation of a skit called ‘Buddy Goes to School’, which would be rolled out to
schools as part of the Cyber Wellness Student Ambassador Programme.
“The Internet is a place of unlimited resources as well as potential dangers. Enabling children and young adults to safely navigate cyberspace is an important objective for Microsoft. We approach the task in two ways – with technology that uses the latest security and privacy controls and through education on how to protect yourself and be responsible when using the Web,” said Jessica Tan, Microsoft Singapore Managing Director. “Through the Windows Live Messenger Buddy, Microsoft provides the platform for the Cyber Wellness Student Ambassadors to educate their school peers on avoiding the pitfalls of surfing the Internet in a fun and engaging manner, which is more likely to resonate with them than hearing from an adult.”
Currently all schools have implemented their programmes based on the Cyber Wellness Framework developed by MOE.