The vice president and minister of Women’s Affairs, Aja Fatoumatta Jallow-Tambajang, has reaffirmed government’s continued commitment towards protecting and promoting the rights of all children in The Gambia including access to digital technology.
“It is important that the school and the education system to introduce technology for children at school,” she said. “We are throwing again that challenge to you, UNICEF and other member agencies to provide every child; like in Kenya and in South Africa; and in developed world, every child a laptop,”
VP Jallow-Tambajang was speaking at a hotel in Senegambia during the launching of the State of the World’s Children Report 2017. This year’s report is titled ‘Children in a Digital World.’ The report examines and documents how digital technology is impacting on children
Digital technology, VP Jallow noted, has changed the world in bringing positive opportunities for growth and learning. “More children are going online and it’s increasingly changing their progresses associate with childhood and opportunities for their development,” she said.
According to her, access to internet connectivity has become a game changer for marginalised children, pointing out that helping them to fulfill their potentials would be a landmark in the development process.
Launching the report, the first lady, Fatoumatta Bah-Barrow, underscored the significance of the forum.
She emphasised on the continued significant contribution of UNCIEF to children’s education, health, nutrition and protection in The Gambia, saying she has no doubt that UNICEF will continue the crusade.
She said every year UNICEF and its partners globally share the report on the state of children all over the world. “As the world move towards a digital era, the children naturally become part of this technological shift, hence, the theme of the 2017 report is Children’s in a Digital World,” she noted.
Today in The Gambia, she went on, and many other part of the world, digital technology is dominating “our lives through the use of mobile phones, internet banking among others.”
Madam Barrow added that the positive gains of digital technology is evidence in every aspect of our lives, however, the negative consequences on our lives and that of our children cannot be ignored, she said.
The minister of Information, Communication and Infrastructure, Demba Ali Jawo said in the last few years, government and educators have recognised the exceptional promises of ICT to foster teaching and learning in schools even at primary level.
The government of The Gambia, Minister Jawo added, has made huge strides in its efforts to providing nationwide accessibility to reliable and affordable internet.
The government, he noted, is also cognizant of the fact that this technological advancement is a double agent sword and if not properly managed, it will potentially explore our children on cyber problem associated with the internet.
The UNICEF Rep. in The Gambia, Sandra Lattouf spoke at length on the significance of The State of the World’s Children report. She said “we need to make sure that digital technology is accessible to children and also to make sure that they are protected from internet problem related issues.
She reaffirms UNICEF’s continued commitment towards the development of The Gambia.