ABU DHABI: The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has run a collaborative programme with its subsidiary body the United Arab Emirates Computer Emergency Response Team (aeCERT) and the Ministry of Education (MoE) —designed to boost cyber security awareness among students at all stages of education.
The initiative trained nearly 500 1st to 12th grade teachers from every emirate on IT security best-practice, providing the core knowledge needed to enhance the IT curriculum.
“Cyber security is a critical element to ensuring the sustainable development of our nation’s knowledge economy,” said Mohamad Ahmad Al Qamzi, TRA chairman.
“Such security relies on the knowledge and vigilance of the public at large, and there is no question that educating our youth is critical to building this robust knowledge base.
“This educational programme includes online activities, lectures and case studies designed to drive home best practice to teachers, empowering them to pass it on to their students. And of course, from students, this knowledge passes to families and friends, enabling us to reach every home in the UAE,” Al Qamzi added.
The IT security project reflects over two years of work by aeCERT, TRA and MoE developing a clear, comprehensive and easy to use curriculum designed to empower students with core cyber security knowledge. The curriculum includes guides in hard and soft copy for both students and teachers, structured in class activities and presentations, as well as fun and interactive games.
The curriculum content covers a comprehensive breakdown of cyber threats and clear approaches to ensuring security.
Beginning with ethics of computer use, the structured content goes on to cover information security, including password protection and phishing security protocols, secure browser use, and correct use of content sharing on social media to protect privacy avoid copyright infringement.
“As parents, we are all concerned about ensuring that our children stay safe, and today that includes staying safe online,” said Humaid Bin Mohammed Obaid Al Qattami, Minister of Education.
“Schools have a role to play in this, so today’s decision to include cyber security in the national curriculum is an important step in protecting the nation’s children. More broadly, we are increasing the curriculum’s focus on ICT subjects, because we believe that this sector will play an increasingly important role in our economy in the years to come. Our children need to be ready to live and work in this new world, and to do so safely.”
IT security follows aeCERT’s broader mission to sustain a resilient and vigilant ICT infrastructure against a broader set of cyber security threats, while building a robust culture of cyber security awareness across the UAE.