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Emirati pupils call for increased internet safety and philanthropic activities at Sharjah council

SHARJAH // Internet safety and giving back to the community were among the pressing issues on the agenda at Sharjah Children’s Shura Council.

Children aged 10, 11 and 12 discussed the need for greater smartphone awareness and more giving initiatives, in line with the Year of Giving.

The Council was attended by 66 young council members, Brig Saif Al Zari, director of Sharjah Police, and Marwan Al Sarkal, chief executive of the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority.

The Emirati pupils agreed that more activities that instilled in children the values of generosity, enterprise, hard work and perseverance should be part of the school curriculum.

The young councillors questioned Brig Al Zari about efforts taken by police to raise safety awareness for children through the use of technology.

“Is there a plan to develop a game for children that will teach them safety precautions and raise their awareness, in a fun and informative way?” Councillor Salamah Najeeb asked the police chief.

Mohammed Rashed pitched the idea of developing an app that could be used by children in times of danger, to send out their location and basic information directly to police.

“We hope they take our ideas and recommendations into consideration and adopt them,” said 12-year-old chairperson Rashid Al Tunaiji.

“In the end, we are all trying to contribute to building our country.”

Brig Al Zari was impressed with the children’s interest in society’s issues.

“This council is the foundation for the new generation of leaders,” he said.

“Youngsters have no problem talking with top officials and voicing their concerns and their bright ideas. The chairperson had no hesitation in stopping me from exceeding my allowed time, which shows strength of character and seriousness.”

Aysha Al Kaabi, acting director of Sharjah Children’s Centre, said it was important to empower children.

“Through this, we foster parliamentary principles in them, and placing them in the heat of social responsibility,” she said of the council, which was established in 1977.

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The National