Girls Alliance Wants Internet Education -Calls On Gov’t to Ensure GSM Companies Its Funding for Youth
By: Matthew H. Turry
MONROVIA: The Secretary General of the Girls Alliance for Future Leadership, Jamesetta Flomo has called on the Liberian Government through the Ministry of education to ensure GSM companies in the country fund internet education for all Liberian teenagers especially the Liberian girl child.
Madam Flomo who said there is no protection for especially the Liberian girl child also urged the government to ensure that all-internet providers in the country invest money into providing proper education on the use of the internet to grades K-12 school students in the country.
The Secretary General of the Girls Alliance for Future Leadership however said her group is not calling on restrictive parenting initiative which has the potential to place culpability on teenagers, ignoring the societal forces that are playing a major role in the internet chaos.
Madam Flomo spoke on June 16 in Monrovia when her group joined global bodies around in observance of the International Day of the African Child 2023. The International Day of African Child was celebrated on the global theme, “Right of the Child in a digital environment” while it was celebrated in Liberia on the theme, “Creating a friendly digital environment for girls.”
Addressing the occasion, Madam Flomo indicated that Governments in most countries across the globe with the Liberian government no exception only react to the wrong use of internet in the face of danger to their power base.
“The internet has its good, bad, and ugly reality. Even though there is very little evidence that social media directly displaces meaningful interaction with close relational partners, the challenges of the wrong use of social media render significant consequences,” the Secretary General of the Girls Alliance for Future Leadership averred.
According to her, girls tend to interact with their close love ones through several different sensory systems such as text, emails, phone calls, and face time, saying that the recent reality of the wrong use of social media is the situation of Finda Bangura who was seen by thousands of Liberians of all demographics having a romantic relationship with another female.
“We are aware of the unlimited exploitive nudity and sexually explosive materials on the internet, but Finda Bangura’s situation was close to home,” he pointed out.
Madam Flomo reasoned that the bizarre reality for a country like ours, just mere end user of technologies with internet companies not having any age or parental consideration to internet sales, the youths of Liberia are facing a catastrophic unimpeded enemy.
The Girls for Future leadership official stated that the world is now digital and is polarized with using or storing or storing data or information in the form of digital signals which she pointed out is possible through the internet.
“The internet is a global computer network proving a variety of information and communications facilities, consisting of interconnected networks using standardized communication protocols. It is now 63 years since the World Wide Web, the precursor of the internet got established. Today the world is a wholesome functioning unit [that] brings humanity together from all spheres of life,” she explained.
Stressing that there is no question about the indispensible nature of the internet to human existence, which as a matter of fact rests on the internet, she noted that social media user has skyrocketed over the past two decades; and added that growth in the number of people who use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tiktok, Snapchat and other social media platforms and the time spent on them has trigger interest and concern across the globe among policymakers, teachers, parents, and clinicians about it impact on our lives and emotional well-being..
Turning to the essence of the day of the African Child Celebration, Madam Flomo said the International Day of the African Child is one of the major international days that are significant. “On June 16, each year, and the world over, we celebrate the day of the African Child. This annual event came into existence in 1991, when the Organization of African Unity, now the African Union set aside the day to remember the 1976 Soweto uprising in South Africa,” she further explained.
She accentuated that the uprising was a student’s protest against the apartheid government’s Afrikaans-only education policy. The protests, she historicized, were met with violence by the police, and hundreds of students were killed, adding that the day has been used to reflect on the challenges that children face and to commit protecting rights, and denounce injustice against children.
“It is also a day to celebrate the resilience and determination of children, who continue to fight for better future,” she reminded her audience, stating further that Liberia had its share of injustice against children especially the girl child.