College of Science, Engineering & Technology

Protecting learners online

The Cyber Safety Awareness Community Project within Unisa’s School of Computing has joined forces with the British High Commission Pretoria and the national Department of Communication and Digital Technologies (DCDT) to address cyber safety awareness within South African schools.

The steering committee consists of Prof Elmarie Kritzinger within the School of Computing. She is the project leader for cyber safety awareness within the College of Science, Engineering and Technology (CSET) and focuses on improving cyber-safety knowledge and skills within communities and schools. Dr K Pillay is Chief Director at the DCDT with a vision to ensure that cyber culturalisation is at the foreground within South Africa.

Collaborators, from left: Prof E Kritzinger, R Kaliszewski, Dr K Pillay, T Jordan, A Chadwick and K Mtwazi

Khopotso Mtwazi from the British High Commission Pretoria is the manager for the Digital Access Programme aimed to catalyse affordable, inclusive, safe and secure digital access for marginalised communities in South Africa. The British High Commission Pretoria, as enabled by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, is committed to support the South African steering committee to implement a vision to improve cyber-safety awareness among all school learners.

The steering committee has the mandate to establish and grow a cyber-safety culture within South African schools to ensure that all school learners have the required cyber-safety knowledge and skills to protect themselves in cyberspace. The steering committee will create and distribute cyber-safety awareness material to South African schools (with translations in a number of South African languages).

The first meeting of the steering committee was held on 29 January 2020 with all three partners of the steering committee and the Head of Cyber Prosperity at the UK Foreign Commonwealth Office, directing the UK's Digital Access: Trust and Resilience programme, (T Jordan), Head of the Africa Cyber Network (British High Commission, Nairobi) and UK Foreign Commonwealth Office, Cyber Diplomacy representative, R Kaliszewski.

The School of Computing in CSET will showcase the work that has been done at Unisa and within the steering committee during the upcoming CSET Research and Innovation week from 4 March 2020 at the university.

* By Elmarie Kritzinger, School of Computing

Publish date: 2020-02-20 00:00:00.0