KOZHIKODE: The Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education (KITE) has published a Cyber Safety Protocol detailing the guidelines to be followed in schools to guard students against the pitfalls in the cyber world. The move follows the recommendations made by the Committee on the welfare of women, trangenders, children and differently abled.
The major highlights of the protocol include ensuring secure password protection in institutions, adopting safe search methods, facilitating uninterrupted availability of internet to teachers and students, providing internet access to students only under the supervision of teachers and displaying instructions for secure internet browsing in classrooms and labs.
The protocol mandates that Cyber Safety Audit should be conducted at least twice a year in schools. A total of 11 activities to be strictly followed by the students have been mentioned in the protocol.
These include directions to not save individual information and pictures in public machines, not download information or contents from unknown websites, not directly meet any strangers befriended through the internet, neither collect parents’ credit card number, pin or passwords nor share them with anyone and also to take extreme caution while playing online games.
Teachers have been instructed to browse and download ICT (Information and Communications Technology) contents for their classes well in advance, to avoid the possibility of inappropriate content showing up while the material is searched online in classrooms in the presence of students. The protocol also mandates school headmasters to hold discussions on cyber safety, cyber crimes, phishing, cyberstalking, deepfakes, camera hacking and sexting. The protocol also demands parents to alert officers concerned if they feel their child has become a victim of cybercrime.
According to KITE Vice-Chairman and Executive Director K Anvar Sadath, cyber safety awareness classes are mostly limited to speeches and no in-depth actions are initiated. “We have devised a practical plan for eradicating the misuse of internet,” he said in a statement here on Sunday.
KITE is also planning to implement a broader cyber safety programme from the upcoming academic year. The programme will be in the form of interactive games and edutainment. As part of this, ‘Cyber Safety Clinics’ will also be established in schools, where teachers and parents would be given hands-on training. The Cyber Safety Protocol has been made available on the website www.kite.kerala.gov.in