More than half of Finnish elementary schools have taken part in a project named media literacy week, in an effort to protect minors from harmful content and negative effect on internet.
There are around 3,000 elementary schools all over Finland, and about 1,400 have registered for the activity, lasting from Feb. 10 to 16, Project Manager Suvi Tuominen said in a latest interview with Xinhua.
The registered schools would get materials including posters and handbooks, which could serve as guidelines for teachers and parents to educate children to gain a safer internet experience.
A copy of the materials obtained by Xinhua reporters shows numerous steps for young web users to follow, in order to make sure they are well protected if they want to post a photo of their friends onto a webpage.
"Children are smart, they know how to bypass restrictions, and their teachers and parents need to discuss with them, but not consider it as something unimportant," Tuominen stressed.
This year's activities also featured a novelty dubbed the toilet competition. Young pupils are supposed to decorate toilets with messages related to safer internet usage, and judiciaries will compare and assess the decorated ones.
Tuominen said the activity has won popularity as 50 entries were received last year and they are hoping a hundred toilets are to be submitted this year.
"The idea is that when they decorate they learn something about online safety. And also those young people who visit the toilet will learn something," said Tuominen.
"Because it's a private place, you are with yourself. If you put up the posters in classrooms they may not read them because it's not cool," she elaborated.
Finland's media literacy week project first started last year as part of the European Commission's grand project called safer internet day, which was initiated in 2004.
The safer internet day, supposed to be the second day in the second week in the second month of a year, is gaining popularity beyond Europe and celebrated in about 100 countries and regions this year.
In Finland, the safer internet day is celebrated for a whole week and the name has been changed to media literacy week. Sweden has followed suit.
"When talking about safer internet day, people will think of virus protection only, but when we talk about media literacy, it is easier for them to accept," said Tuominen.
The project attracted over 40 organizations, including some Finnish media companies like MTV, YLE, and Helsinki News. Special TV and radio programs were arranged, and experts were heard in this regard.
Marjo Tiitto, Communications Manager of MTV, said "We are involved in this project because we want to educate children and youngsters and help them to become smart media users."
"The media world is changing and reforming rapidly, and it calls for both children and their parents to have multiple abilities. Media skills are important for today and the future," he added.