Dr. Marlena Kruger, owner of MindUnique Education and founder of the Technolife Wise Foundation, was recently awarded the Africa Education Leadership Award in the Edutech category. She accepted the reward in December 2022 in Mauritius.
“Education is my passion, especially teaching and coaching young and old about the balanced and healthy use of technology. Receiving this prestigious award has been wonderful! It confirms the critical importance of MindUnique’s mission to help families and children to use technology and screens wisely. I’m grateful, honoured and humbled by the award.
“I firmly believe now is the time to act; to stand up against the excessive use of technology in homes and schools. We need to upgrade ourselves and our children – body, mind and spirit – and not technology.”
Research shows that the first five to six years of a child’s life are the most important for body and brain development. If young children spend too much time in front of screens – in fact any time on screens, their development is stifled and they will experience either physical, emotional or intellectual challenges during primary and secondary school. In fact, it will affect their life as an adult, as well as their health, and relationships.
The effect of the overuse of technology and hours in front of screens is not only evident in young children. “Teenagers are exposed to cyber bullying and all sorts of other evils, such as sexting and pornography. Adults’ relationships are affected as they prefer to spend time on the phone rather than with their partner. It truly affects all of us – our wellbeing, health, and growth as human beings.”
Late last year, the Technolife Wise Foundation launched the Wait until Grade 8 campaign and no phones at school policy in partnership with Roosevelt High School in Johannesburg. The campaign aims to help schools countrywide implement a no cell phone policy in schools, and encourage parents to pledge that they won’t give their children access to smart phones until grade 8 or the age of 14. We need to protect and nurture our future – our children and families.
“We rely too much on technology instead of our human capacity and creativity. It is time to take back our soul and live a truly fulfilling and real life,” Dr. Kruger concludes.