WALVIS BAY: The Mayor of Walvis Bay, expressed his concerns about negative behavioural patterns shown by the youth of the town, and the lack of parental supervision over the children.
Speaking here at the ordinary Council meeting for the month of July on Tuesday (31 July), Derek Klazen, stated that he is worried about several issues such as the lack of parental supervision which could have the potential to affect the youth negatively.
“The lack of parental supervision of our children can be seen, by how they (children) are roaming the streets often at night and at places such as liquor outlets to mention but a few,” the Mayor said with disappointment.
Klazen went on to say, that with the dawn of real time and social media technology, being within reach of the youth, at the touch of a button, many parents are failing to supervise or monitor the activities in which their children are partaking.
He mentioned that a classical example of the technology trend is that of the social media networks. These network platforms such as Facebook, Skype, MySpace and Tweeter amongst others have great benefits for communicating nationally and internationally, but may simultaneously also pose dangers to those using it.
“The social networks have changed the way news travel all over the world, but if these platforms are used by the children without proper supervision or approval, it can expose innocent and vulnerable children to cyber-criminals who are determined to lure them into many illegal activities,” Klazen noted.
The mayor further expressed his concerns by saying that parents should understand that allowing a minor access to the internet or any social media group is no different than allowing a ten year old to roam the street of Colombia without adult supervision.
“Many parents might not understand what Facebook entails. The same risks that the ten year old is exposed to in my Colombian example are exactly the same as allowing them to have uncontrolled and un-supervised access to facebook,” he said.
In addition, another cause for concern mentioned by Klazen, is that of teenage pregnancies, which was also addressed by the Minister of Education, Dr Abraham Iyambo at the recent inauguration of classrooms in the harbour town.
“Some schools have to date recorded girls becoming mothers while still in primary school. This phenomenon, coupled with drug use and abuse by young children is not just eroding our moral fibre, but it is depriving our nation of the human capital required to assisting Namibia achieve targets set in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs),” Klazen stated.
Klazen urges all the parents to be vigilant and become actively involved in the activities of their children and thereby reducing their (children) exposure to risks.