The National Seminar on Promoting Responsible Digital Practices was held at The Westin Dhaka recently.
On this seminar, Mr. Aminul Islam Khan, Senior Secretary of the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education; His Excellency Charles Whiteley, Ambassador & Head of Delegation, Delegation of the European Union to Bangladesh; Md. Shahidul Islam, Deputy Commissioner and District Magistrate, Dhaka; and Dr. Khandoker Azizul Islam, Additional Secretary, ICT Division graced the event with their astute remarks in the seminar.
In the seminar there was 120+ notable persons from different sectors including but not limited to university faculty members, students, journalists, researchers, lawyers, members of the CSOs, INGOs, GOs, law enforcing agencies, corporate organizations and so on. This astonishing gathering was a balanced crowd of some of the best minds in the country.
Dnet is implementing the project “Foster Responsible Digital Citizenship to Promote Freedom of Expression in Bangladesh”, which is co-funded by European Union and Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF Bangladesh). The aim of this project is to promote good digital citizenship in Bangladesh to support freedom of expression in the society.
The project is helping young people to become responsible citizens by creating a culture of positive behavior in the digital world and encouraging them to express themselves freely and securely online. Under this project, Dnet has connected 5 reputed universities and continues to raise awareness among 5,000 students in Dhaka and Rajshahi.
The three years’ long project has connected more than 50,000 digital citizens through online learning portals (www.digitalcitizenbd.com), social media platforms and publicity at universities.
As a part of this amazing project Dnet organized the ‘National Seminar on Promoting Responsible Digital Practices’ at The Westin Dhaka, on 21st June, 2022 (Tuesday) from 9:00 AM to 1:30 PM.
The seminar showcased various research information, knowledge and educational materials developed under the project to help young people in a secure digital environment.
The seminar also had a vibrant discussion about the challenges young people face in the online world as well as exercising the freedom of expression. From Dnet Niaz Islam Arif, Elma Hoque, Ashik Mahmud and others; and from FNF Bangladesh Wolfgang Heinze, Dr. Najmul Hossain, Salwa Jahan, Fabian Ismat and others took part in the seminar.
Mr. Aminul Islam Khan; Senior Secretary of the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, discoursed that: Let me appreciate European Union, Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom and Dnet for holding this National Seminar on Promoting Responsible Digital Practices based on very timely and significant theme of Digital Citizenship and online free expression. I believe the initiatives FRDC project has undertaken which were presented here today, is very helpful for the youths of Bangladesh and of a much shared concern not only nationally but also in the broader world stage.
Md. Shahidul Islam, Deputy Commissioner and District Magistrate, Dhaka, orated that:
The vision of our Honorable Prime Minister is to build a Digital Bangladesh will only be possible if the users of digital device and internet facilities of our country become well aware about the best usage of digital platforms. And as we find out today that the best way to prepare our young generation for the digital realm is through educating them.
M. Shahadat Hossain; Executive Director, Dnet opined that: Right to freedom of speech and expressions come with great responsibilities, sharing unjust, malicious and misinformation has to be prohibited…. At the end of the day we want our youth to be conscientious citizens exercising their right to freedom of speech and expression which will be pro society.
The FRDC project manager Asif Ahmed Tonmoy; Joint Director, Dnet shard in his closing remarks that: Through today’s seminar, I hope we have been able to create a ripple effect in the society to aware all of us about the importance of acting responsibly and lawfully in digital space. We have witnessed the so many positive impacts of this project already in the target universities which led me believe that everyone present here will come forward with all of their support and cooperation to expand these initiatives for more students from all over the country.
This national seminar aims to strengthen protection systems, policies and legislation in support of youths and adolescents, including those belong to minority communities. Dnet will continue work closely with the Government and private sector on the topics discussed in the seminar.
The seminar closed with a commitment of contribute to tackle the lack of knowledge and experience of adolescents and young people when negotiating the digital world and exercising their constitutional right of free expression; also at the same time, work towards to create an enabling environment for youths and adolescents where they will be given opportunities to become change agents in their own communities, with skills to challenge harmful digital norms and intolerant practices.