Thousands more Victorian students will be taught how to stay safe online with the rollout of the successful cyber-safety eSmart program to every school in the state, thanks to a funding boost from the Andrews Labor Government.
Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Education James Merlino today announced an additional $2.5 million to enable all Victorian schools – including government and non-government – to use the Alannah and Madeline Foundation’s eSmart program for free, meaning almost 1 million students will benefit from it every year.
This is on top of the $12.2 million that has already been provided and has seen 71 per cent – or 1,569 – of Victoria’s 2,246 schools already using the effective and popular eSmart cyber-safety program.
eSmart provides support for government, Catholic and independent schools to create cyber-safe environments for their students through policies and practices encouraging students to use technology responsibly.
This includes helping schools to: create their own plans, policies and procedures, access the latest resources and tools, as well as record, track and report on their progress in achieving eSmart status.
With our kids now accessing the internet and social media at unprecedented levels, programs like eSmart to help them make smart choices online are more important than ever.
This is in addition to a suite of Victorian anti-bullying resources being brought together under the Labor Government’s new $7 million Victorian Anti Bullying and Mental Health Initiative, including Bully Stoppers, Safe Schools, Respectful Relationships and new initiatives to tackle racist bullying.
Around one in five young people experience bullying, affecting their academic performance and self-esteem, leading to anxiety, depression and self-harm.
Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
“We want every Victorian child and young person to stay safe online – that’s why we’re stepping in to provide this additional funding, because nothing is more important than the safety and happiness of our kids.”
“This is about giving our kids the practical support and advice they need to stay safe online and prevent bullying.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino
“We’re extending eSmart to every school in Victoria so thousands more students every year can get the cyber-safety support they need – for free, in their school and supported by their friends and teachers.”
“We have an obligation to do everything we can to make our schools a bully-free, safe environment.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020