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Central board issues guidelines on digital technologies in schools 

Bhubaneswar: With increasing use of electronic devices by students, which make them vulnerable to various inappropriate and illegal activities, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has issued guidelines for schools to promote safe and effective use of internet and digital technologies in schools.

The board has asked its affiliated schools to take measures to preempt any ‘inappropriate’ and ‘illegal’ activity through IT enabled devices in schools.

“If children use the internet without safety awareness, they may fall prey to illegal activity or abuse such as cyber bullying, fraud or something even more serious. Hence awareness on internet safety norms is absolutely indispensable to make children free to explore knowledge without feeling intimidated,” read the circular issued on Friday. “Increasing proliferation and sophistication of various electronic devices makes it all the more obligatory for schools to control and monitor their use by students,” it added.

The board has asked all schools to draft a school policy on the safe use of electronic devices and implement it and also to take strict disciplinary action against those who attempt to bypass filtering or to access inappropriate or illegal material, The Times of India reported.

It suggested schools to comply with all relevant legislation on copyright, property theft, fraud, discrimination and obscenity on all forms of IT enabled devices. It also asked schools to avoid digital and video images of individual students or teachers on school websites for safety of children. Schools have also been asked to supervise and monitor all online activities in the light of educational objectives.

The board has asked schools to allow children access internet in highly visible areas of the school and allow children to use only pre-selected websites appropriate to their age-group. Schools should promptly disable usernames and passwords of those who leave the school and should not allow creating accounts for fictitious children or groups.

The board also stressed on creating awareness among teachers, other school staff and parents about internet safety norms.

On safety of children in the school bus, the board said, mobile phone to be made available in each of the school bus to deal with unprecedented emergency and should be a basic model without internet facility and data usage, the circular said.

The board has advised school that carrying electronic communication devices including those that can store/record/paly audio-visual content, transmit or receive images or provide unfiltered connections to the internet such as ipads, DVD/CD players, game consoles, handheld PC, smart phones, laptops, tablet or any other gadgets with similar capabilities of data storage/transmission is not permitted in school and school bus without prior permission of school authorities.

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