Ongoing Awareness to be priority

In the midst of noisy election campaigns in preparation for the 2017 General Elections in Papua New Guinea, the Office of Censorship is also continuing its NCD School Awareness Program which is one of the priorities for this year.
The Office campaign slogan is ‘Self Respect & Human Decency’.
Between 2014 and 2016, six schools within Port Moresby, Lae and Rabaul, were part of this awareness program while similar programs were carried out respectively to stakeholders and partners mainly the Royal Constabulary of Papua New Guinea including the Port Moresby General Hospital who was also part of a preliminary research carried out by the research team from the Office.
The aim of the Awareness Program is to educate schools, partners/stakeholders and the general public on the basic roles and functions of the Office of Censorship and to also deliberate on the continuous use and misuse of the social media and to correct misunderstandings about the basic function of the Office.
According to the Manager Awareness and Publicity, Ms Karen Gabby, the program is vital for students that is why the Office is targeting schools and is hopeful that the program will influence a positive change in student behaviour within the schools.
‘This Awareness Program is now in full swing and so far this year six schools in NCD have already been visited with very good participation and the aim now is to continue the program to all the schools within the NCD region and also on the outskirts of Port Moresby with or without funding, as the Office believes that this Awareness Program is very important for school students as well as parents and guardians’.
The most recent awareness was carried out at the De La Salle Bomana Secondary School and the Bavaroko Primary school where the Office learnt that there was a lack of understanding about the function of the Office while the Awareness Team had the privilege of correcting misunderstandings by students and teachers who mistook the Censorship Office for the National Statistical Office.
During the program the year 11 and 12 students learnt that the Office of Censorship is a Government agency which is vested with the responsibility of monitoring or regulating the information traffic with regard to content suitability.
Many of the students showed interest and were willing to learn more about how social media can assist them in their school work but can also be a distraction when not properly managed, especially when a student has an internet accessible phone.
The Head Boy of De La Salle Secondary Christopher Kageni was thankful to the Office for sharing information with the school as it was an important factor for students and challenged his peers to be observant and take heed of the technological changes taking place within the country.

So far the schools visited since 2014 are; Kerevat National High and St Mary’s Secondary in East New Britain, Port Moresby National High, Sogeri National High, Badihagwa Secondary, De La Salle Secondary, Marianville Secondary, Bavaroko Primary, Bomana Primary and Evedahana Primary schools and Tokarara High School in Port Moresby.
The aim of the program is to visit all schools in Port Moresby before venturing into other provinces.

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