With great power comes great responsibility and with growing digital literacy, comes greater risks of cyber crimes. While there are many campaigns already in place that aim to educate internet users in the country about the risks of the world wide web, Google plans to tackle this problem at a much deeper level. At its Safer Internet Day 2017 event today, Google revealed that it has joined hands with Goa Education board to introduce internet safety into the school curriculum. For now the course has only been integrated for secondary and higher secondary students, and is in plans to be introduced for all classes. Also Read - Samsung Galaxy Chromebook Go powered by Intel Jasper Lake Celeron processor revealedAlso Read - Free COVID-19 vaccine: Today’s Google Doodle urges all to get vaccinated, wear mask
Essentially, in most schools in Goa, Computers and IT is a compulsory subject, which is taught to students beginning 6th grade, up till 12th grade. And this new segment of Internet Safety has been added to the same subject, but for students up 9th grade for now. Additionally, according to an IT regulation introduced by the Goa government about a decade ago, every student under the Goa Board receives a laptop, as an incentive. Considering how close the technology sits next to the students in that case, the Internet Safety as part of the curriculum is being seen of great importance. Also Read - HP Chromebook 11a review: Great for students, not so for professionals
Back in August 2016, Google signed an MoU with the Goa government to promote digital literacy in the state. As part of the deal, Google will introduce programs to help SMEs and a mobile app development skilling program for startups to leverage the growing digital economy in the country. Google also introduced a program to train high school and higher secondary school teachers in the state about internet safety. ALSO READ: Government to set up agency for curbing spread of sexually offensive videos on social media
Jose Remedios Rebello, the Chairman of Goa Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education said, The course was introduced in the 2016-17 session, and till now it has been very well-received by both the students and the teachers. Rebello believed integration of Internet Safety within the curriculum and the Web Ranger initiative holds quite an importance with the students, considering the increasing penetration of the web in our lives.
Explaining the process, Rebello said, We approached Google for the integration of the program into our courses, and the organisation helped our train about 500 teachers and head of schools in program.
In addition to that we spoke with Rebello about the increasing concerns of cyber bullying among students and if this course tackles that as well. He added, Internet ethics is a part of the course, and although it been just a few months, from what we feel, the occurrence of one student bullying the other on social media about what happened in the canteen today, is visually going down. ALSO READ: Google to assist Karnataka government with tools to collect, analyze health data
Also, considering the demonetization this year, and the increasing use of digital payments and other forms of online transactions, Rebello says Goa Board is also working on introducing courses on Financial Securities. This will be done in collaboration with National Institute of Securities Markets (NISM), which is a public trust established by Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
At today s event, Google also awarded the little winners of the second edition of the Web Rangers initiative in India, which aims create awareness among students about Internet safety. As part of this contest, young kids were asked to create and run their own online safety campaigns in the form of social campaigns, posters, videos and apps. Winning entries were judged and selected based on creativity, reach and impact.