The Internet And Our Children
In light of the recent shocking revelations that every 1 in 5 Kenyan girls is a mother, the Kenyan nation is at a standstill. We are all trying to find a solution to this heartbreaking problem. Just last week, ICT CS, Hon. Joe Mucheru gave a directive to the Communications Authority to filter pornographic sites. This is supposed to help curb the high rate of sexual activity and moral decay amongst teens and pre-teens; Many Kenyans took to Twitter to ask if this would really help.
Reality vs Publicity
Frankly, most of the girls getting pregnant while in school are not from urban areas where internet penetration is high. They come from semi-urban and rural areas where internet penetration is low but cultural beliefs are still high. KNEC Chairman, Mr. George Magoha stated that parents were responsible for their children falling pregnant at a young age. Sadly, this can be tied to the fact that it still remains taboo in some parts of the country for parents to openly talk about sex to their children.
The Long Lasting Effects of Tradition on Raising Children
Can we really blame them entirely though? How is someone supposed to share knowledge that they themselves did not have access to? Most grown ups in Kenya discovered quite roughly on their own what sex is, with little help from their parents. This vicious cycle still persists. The teenage pregnancy crisis in our country has shed light on the fact that it is not only our children who need effective sexual health education, but parents too. Pornography may be a contributing factor, but it is far from the key reason our girls are finding themselves in these predicaments. We need to address:
- Lack of proper sexual education in schools;
- Inaccessibility of family planning services and solutions;
- Lack of parental guidance;
- Prevalent cultural beliefs;
What Needs To Be Done To Help Our Children
Like any tool, the internet can be used for both good and evil. Filtering pornography is a move in the right direction, not just for our children but for our society as a whole as pornography destroys families and societies in various ways. We can do this through:
- Using the internet to create educative platforms for both parents and children about sexual education and health;
- Creating a safe online platform where we children can report sexual abuse without fear of stigma;
- Launching national campaigns to create awareness about the benefits of waiting before engaging in sex ;
- Demystifying what sex is to our children, because curiosity is a major contributing factor. If we can control the curiosity, we solve part of the problem.
Let’s use the internet to protect our children from ruining their lives by arming them with the knowledge they need to succed by using the internet effectively.