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DepEd warns parents vs ‘Momo’ challenge

Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - March 3, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Education (DepEd) yesterday warned parents against the so-called “Momo challenge” that allegedly involves children being instructed to do dangerous tasks.

In a statement, the agency called on parents to be more mindful and attentive to the digital activities of children, stressing its vision of zero tolerance against all forms of abuse, exploitation, discrimination, bullying and other forms of violence against children.

 “Parents and guardians are urged to maintain an open communication with their children, educate them about responsible online behavior, monitor what they access online and help them understand that their parents and guardians are the foremost people they can trust about matters that make them feel uncomfortable, coerced or unsafe,” the DepEd said. 

 “In school, the department emphasizes with the learners that their online safety is just as important as their physical safety through age-appropriate and contextualized lesson plans that enable them to still appreciate the internet as a safe and enjoyable platform of learning,” it added. 

Competencies 

The department said it equips learners with the proper competencies that enable them to discern online issues, threats and information authenticity. 

 “For instance, critiquing data and information skill is already being developed among learners from Grade 1 to Senior High School in subjects like Filipino and English,” DepEd said. 

The department said media and information literacy (MIL) skills are being sharpened among learners as early as Grade 4, specifically in the subject Edukasyong Pantahanan at Pangkabuhayan.

“In Grades 11 and 12, skills that aim to cultivate creative and critical thinking among learners, thereby enabling them to handle online contents, are given utmost priority in the core subject MIL and the applied subject Empowerment Technologies,” it added. 

 The DepEd said it also continues to strengthen the implementation of its Child Protection Policy by emphasizing online safety as one of the crucial components of the measure.

 The police issued a warning after some children supposedly took part in the challenge, which reports said may involve self-harm and suicide. 

The Department of Information and Communications Technology said it is already investigating the challenge. 

Video sharing site YouTube earlier said it has not seen evidence of the challenge on its platform. 

“If you see videos including harmful or dangerous challenges on YouTube, we encourage you to flag them to us immediately. These challenges are clearly against our Community Guidelines,” it said.

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION ‘MOMO’ CHALLENGE
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