Directorate of Education directs school heads to refer to guidelines on safe online learning during pandemic
The Delhi government has directed schools to sensitise students and parents on cyberbullying and online threats during the pandemic and measures to be taken to protect them from such threats.
The Directorate of Education, in a letter to school heads, said that since education has moved from the carefree days of learning together in a safe school environment to the online mode during the COVID-19 pandemic, internet spaces are growing and data security, privacy and protection are inadequate to keep a check on this. The letter stressed the importance of making students aware of such risks and ensuring that steps are taken to keep children safe.
A study by the India Child Protection Fund (ICPF) spoke about the online exploitation of children and increase in activities related to child sexual abuse, indicating a sharp rise in demand for online child pornography during the lockdown.
The Directorate of Education also asked schools to refer to guidelines on safe online learning in times of COVID-19 jointly developed by National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), which was released by Union education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank in June 2020. These guidelines aim to sanitise the digital space and ensure the safety of all stakeholders including teachers, students and parents. Apart from defining cyberbullying, the booklet also mentions the dos and don’ts of cyberspace, and briefs readers on Indian judicial laws to protect students and parents from online mishaps.
The letter directs school heads to share this information with all stakeholders through WhatsApp or SMS.
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