By Zsarlene B. Chua
Senior Reporter

GOOGLE Philippines has launched a campaign creating a teaching module for high school students nationwide in order to “deepen its ongoing commitment to online safety and responsibility,” according to a press release.

The campaign called Cyberpeace: Creating a Peaceful Internet Together has Google partnering with Teach Peace Build Peace Movement, a non-government organization that runs a peace education program for children in conflict and non-conflict zones, along with volunteers and YouTube creators in implementing the company’s Be Internet Awesome curriculum to high school students in private and public schools nationwide.

“Google is not just about creating the most awesome and magical products. We feel that we have a bigger responsibility than that and that includes our responsibility to create a safe and peaceful environment for everyone,” said Bernadette Nacario, country director, Google Philippines said during the launch on Feb. 11 at the Google offices in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

The curriculum aims to educate at least 10,000 high school students nationwide through 2020 on how to use the internet in a more responsible and safer way.

The module will focus on five core concepts and values: online reputation, critical thinking to fight scams and misinformation, privacy and security, cyberbullying, and reporting inappropriate online behaviors. The initiative will also tackle other relevant issues such as “catfishing” and cancel culture.

Catfishing is a deceptive activity where a person fakes an identity online targeting people for fraud or abuse while cancel culture is a phenomenon where people online boycott an individual (usually a celebrity) for alleged wrongdoings, problematic behavior, or unpopular opinions.

Citing Google’s Digital Wellbeing of Families report, Ms. Nacario said 71% of Filipino households rely on digital technology to connect with their families at least once a day. This makes the Philippines the highest among the 11 countries surveyed. At second place is Indonesia at 66%. While 85% of Filipino parents said they worry about their child being exposed to inappropriate content online, second only to Brazil at 94%.

The Digital Wellbeing of Families was conducted in the Philippines in April 2019 with 1,000 households participating. Google also surveyed the US, Brazil, Mexico, Germany, Russia, Japan, Korea, Japan, Thailand, and Indonesia.

“At Google, we believe kids and the youth should be able to experience the best of technology — and that parents should be able to feel confident letting them explore online,” Ms. Nacario said.

“Through the Cyberpeace campaign, we hope not to only help Filipino families stay safer online but provide a springboard for a shared, nationwide commitment to a more peaceful internet, at the heart of a vibrant digital economy for all Filipinos,” she added.

Aside from the pilot class in San Francisco High School in Quezon City, the modules will also be taught in select public and private schools in the country including Batasan Hills Nation High School in Quezon City, Abellana High School in Cebu City, and Marawi City National High School.