The MPs and social workers who called for more to be done to educate young people and their parents on online risks stopped short of making more substantive recommendations ("Call to educate children, parents on online risks"; last Sunday).
The issue has to be discussed in context. For instance, have cases of sexual grooming increased over the years since the Penal Code was amended in 2008 to include this offence?
Besides legislation, are there other means of deterrence?
It will be useful to understand the modus operandi of the offenders. Equally important is the rehabilitation process for the victims and offenders.
A frank assessment of preventive strategies is due. How effective have programmes on Internet safety been, and how are these indicators tracked?
It is one thing to evaluate the pedagogies using post-event questionnaires to ascertain what participants have learnt, and another to determine if the sessions have influenced how they negotiate online platforms.
The data can improve the quality of the trainers and the content they dispense.
Some may be tempted to seek a quick fix, but this will come to nought if we do not determine where we have been, where we are now, and where we are headed.
- Kwan Jin Yao
This article was first published on Jan 25, 2015.
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