Exploring the agency of children in accessing the Internet and how they manage Internet risks: A case study of Chiredzi Christian College
The introduction of internet, information and communication technologies brought about a new era in the world. Both adults and children are using it to access mass information for development and entertainment. They use it for educational and entertainment purposes. However, when they explore the internet they encounter various risks that threaten childhood development. This study is inspired by the need to explore the agency of children in accessing the internet and how they manage the internet risks. The objectives of this study are to explore children as actors in their own right and how they understand the risks associated with access and use of internet and communication technology, to identify children’s agency in managing internet risks and to generate recommendations for social work practice with children. A qualitative approach was used. Semi structured interviews were used to collect data from 13 children and three key informants. Findings reflect that children have a high online presence and parents facilitate children’s access to internet. Children are accessing both appropriate and inappropriate content. Children have an understanding of risky content and they have an agency in managing internet risks. Hence, the study recommends the involvement of parents and children by the government and child rights coalitions to educate them on cyber ethics.