No cyber safety? No registration for new schools

Teachers should supervise students accessing computers; adult content, social networking sites to be blocked
Private managements that want to apply for registration of a new school from this year onwards will have to ensure that they adhere to cyber safety measures.

The Department of Primary and Secondary Education will not grant permission to start a new school if they fail to do so. The department has specified that the school must implement various measures to ensure that the children’s safety and security is ensured inside the campus.
According to the rules, first, the schools should see to it that access to computer rooms and use of electronic and technological devices by students is supervised by teachers or staff at all times.

Second, there needs to be internet security so that access to sites with adult content is restricted. Also, the school should block social networking sites at all times.

The rules states, “Students should be regularly educated, in an age-appropriate manner, on safe usage of technology and how to be responsible digital citizens.”

It further stated that students should be aware of “sensible and responsible use of mobiles, SMS, MMS, internet, mail or net chats and the harmful effects of pornography and how to avoid unsafe or risky behaviour. They should also be educated on the consequences of cyber misuse, cyber bullying and harassment etc, under the law- IT Act, JJ Act, IPC Sections and POCSO and punitive measures therein to prevent offences by students against other students or adults.”

The rules stated that the school authority, teachers and students should be oriented on procedures to be followed by the school in the event of cyber abuse or crime.

Parents should also be informed on the safe usage of technology, internet, measures to avoid risky behaviour by students and measures for redressal.
The guidelines states, “Cyber crimes, including, cyber bullying or harassment, are handled with sensitivity and confidentiality. Schools should maintain a record and report all such crimes.”

Commissioner of State Public Instructions KG Jagadeesha said that all schools must follow the cyber safety policy as specified in the cyber security rules.
Interestingly, the schools are also training the students about properly handling e-waste.

Strict action
Schools need to pay Rs 25,000 as the registration and processing fee to the department while applying for recognition.
This should be done after meeting all criteria and with documents to prove that the school has all the necessary facilities. If the officials find that the school has not adhered to it, then the applications will be rejected. The department will not refund the registration fee in case the applications are rejected.
This rule has been introduced this year in the recent circular, which has called for new registration for schools in Karnataka.

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