The state government has issued an elaborate protocol for the secure use of Internet on campuses. It calls for widening the use of IT for educational purposes, but with the necessary caution
Thiruvananthapuram: The state government has published the cyber safety protocol detailing the guidelines for ensuring cyber safety for students in schools.
The protocol with specific instructions for head of institutions, teachers, parents and students has been prepared and published by Kerala Infrastructure and
Technology for Education (KITE) as per the recommendations in the sixth report of the committee for the welfare of women, children and differently abled of the 13th Kerala State Legislative assembly.
As per the protocol, the head of the institution should ensure password protection, safe search methods to be adopted, facilitating uninterrupted availability of internet to teachers and students but providing access to students only under the supervision of teachers. It also said instructions for secure internet browsing displayed in classrooms and laboratories.
The protocol mandated that education institutions conduct cyber safety audit in schools at least twice a year. Teachers have been instructed to browse and download ICT contents for their classes well in advance in order to avoid searching them online in classrooms in the presence of students, where there is a possibility of inappropriate contents showing up in the search.
Teachers have to pre-check the website to ensure that secure portals are used whenever internet-based learning projects are assigned to students. The Samagra Resource Portal developed by KITE which has ICT contents for all classes has to be made the maximum use of in classes. The internet usage in schools has to be strictly restricted for learning activities, official purposes and other learning and teaching-related activities.
The protocol mandates that head masters of schools hold specific discussions on cyber safety and cyber crimes portions referred in the present ICT textbooks of Std 8, 9 and 10. Detailed information on phishing, cyber stalking, deep fakes, camera hacking and even sexting, which involve transfer of pornographic images under the 'students' section. In addition to these, warnings on transmitting trolls, images and videos related to cyber laws have been included in the protocol.
It has also been instructed to parents and students to openly discuss problems and threats they might come across in the cyber world. Parents have been asked to come forward to understand the uses of information technology and also to keep them updated on the latest possibilities. The protocol also demanded parents to alert the officers concerned if they feel their child has become a victim of cybercrime and if required necessary counselling has to be provided.
K. Anvar Sadath, vice-chairman and executive director of KITE told Deccan Chronicle that it has been further detailed in the preface on how the Little KITEs clubs in schools can be utilised for identifying the cyber threats and how the cybercrimes can be prevented and resolved.
It is reported that KITE would implement a broader cyber safety programme from the next academic year, which would be in the form of interactive games and edutainment. As part of this, 'cyber safety clinics' would be established in schools, where teachers and parents would be given hands on trainings. "The protocol indicated that the expertise of professionals and institutions in the field of cyber safety would be made use of for this purpose," said Mr Sadath.
A specific module on effective and secure use of Internet and social media would be included in the teacher training programmes. Cyber safety awareness videos would be made available through KITE VICTERS channel and various web portals of the state education department.
(The cyber safety protocol is made available on www.kite.kerala.gov.in)...