Kenya tries again to digitally register all residents

Kenya tries again to digitally register all residents

If a government agency stores the DNA and fingerprints of its residents can it serve them more efficiently or control them more effectively? (Image: News Decoder) A year after Kenya’s historic digital identity program was declared illegal, the Kenyan government is...

As more countries around the world adopt digital identification systems, concerns about the legality of such programs have come to the fore. This month, University of Toronto global journalism fellow Shefali Malhotra walks us through arguments for and against the implementation of digital IDs in Kenya. 

Exercise: As students are reading the article, have them create a list of arguments for and against the implementation of digital IDs. Then, have students write a paragraph on whether or not they support adopting digital IDs in your country. The paragraph should include arguments around at least two of the following subtopics: data protection (legal), privacy (personal & commercial), internet penetration/the digital divide, potential discrimination against vulnerable groups. To extend the activity, students can engage in a structured debate with classmates after writing their paragraphs.

Can we prevent social media from harming our mental health?

Can we prevent social media from harming our mental health?

Social media can harm a young person’s mental health. Can youth be taught to use the platforms responsibly and avoid excessive consumption? Teenage girl under pressure to achieve (Ikon Images via AP Images)  This article, by high school student Maria Ermanni,...

While there are positive aspects to social media platforms, they can also pose mental health risks. There is the fear of missing out and pressure to become more beautiful, slimmer, cooler and sportier. Student Maria Ermanni of Realgymnasium Rämibühl in Zürich talked to an expert about the positives and negatives of social media for teens and reached the conclusion that while social platforms have become an indispensable part of our daily lives, the responsibility for safe media use lies with the user.

Exercise: Have students write a paragraph that describes their best and worst experience with social media. Then ask them to consider whether they think that there should be limits on what people can post and share on social media, and if yes, what those limits should be. Ultimately, do they think that the benefits of social media outweigh the negative toll it has taken on the mental health of young people?

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