Monday, 11 February 2019 10:38

Labor plans to issue digital licences for children

Labor plans to issue digital licences for children Pixabay

The Australian Labor Party says, if elected, it will create a new eSmart Digital Licence for children to arm them with digital skills and promote discussion about online safety between youngsters and parents, carers and teachers.

In a statement, Labor Deputy Leader Tanya Plibersek said the licence would be designed by the Alannah & Madeline Foundation and aim to keep children safe from bullying, cyber-bullying and violence.

A pilot and independent evaluation of the licence would be carried out in 2019, with a rollout to every student who started grade 3 in 2020. Announcements about the funding for the program, which is estimated to cost $2.5 million, would be made after the evaluation was completed.

“There is clear evidence that digital licences have a positive impact on children’s safety online,” Plibersek said.

“For years our kids have been getting a pen licence as they learn to write – this is the pen licence for the digital world.”

Labor Shadow Communications Minister Michelle Rowland said: "Labor’s priority is ensuring this digital licence is available to all children, regardless of what school they go to. It’s crucial all kids can access resources and build skills which help them to be safe online.

"Improving digital inclusion and enhancing e-safety in Australia requires effort from all sectors, including government and the not-for-profit and charity sector, and Labor is pleased to support the Alannah & Madeline Foundation in leveraging the good work it does in our community.

"Labor understands and respects that schools are best placed to choose the programs that suit the needs of their children and communities. Labor's intention is to roll out the eSmart Digital Licence nationally so the resource is available for any school that wants to take it up.”

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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