MHRD, NCERT and UNESCO bring attention to counter cyberbullying
As a preventive measure to curb the further spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, schools universities, training centres and other education institutions were closed across India since 20 March 2020. This has caused an unprecedented disruption of education and affecting more than 90% of the school population. The Ministry of Human Resource Development and State Education Departments have made concerted efforts to ensure continuity of learning through various digital platforms. This exposure of adolescents to different digital platforms increased their vulnerability to cyber bullying.
In India, an estimated 71 million children aged between 5-11 years access the Internet on devices of their family members, constituting about 14 percent of the country's active Internet user base of over 500 million. Two-thirds of internet users in India are in the age group of 12-29 year (Data shared by the Internet & Mobile Association of India). Data and statistics have highlighted that post lockdown, the internet has amplified the risk of cyberbullying, including online discrimination for children and young people.
With the aim of addressing these concerns, the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) and UNESCO New Delhi Office developed an information booklet titled “Safe online learning in the times of COVID-19” to raise awareness of students and teachers on staying safe online. The booklet will be instrumental in keeping children, young people safe online through basic do’s, and don’ts that will help parents and educators teach their children how to use the internet safely.