Addiction to mobile phones among teenagers has been a concern for parents. To spread awareness about the issue, Maharashtra will soon have these topics as a part of the syllabus in school education.
As per National Education Policy (NEP), contemporary topics such as the use of mobile phones and cyber security will be included in the syllabus when the subject committee decides on the matter, confirmed education department officials.
Various departments have already initiated online programmes to create awareness about cyber security through social media videos.
Pune police recently reported back-to-back suicide cases where alleged victims were threatened with the circulation of their objectionable images on social media. The cybercriminals extorted money from the victims.
A 23-year-old youth died by suicide allegedly after being harassed on September 28. In another incident, a 22-year-old Industrial Training Institute (ITI) student allegedly died by suicide, in a similar incident on September 30.
The probe by police officials into both these cases revealed that these young men were victims of ‘sextortion’.
In the wake of increasing uses of the internet, it is the need of the hour to incorporate the same in the syllabus for the children, said education department officials.
Vikas Garad, deputy director at the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT), said that the changes that should be made to the syllabus are decided by the subject committee.
“As per NEP, while preparing State Curriculum Framework (SCF) contemporary topics like cyber security and mobile phones usage ethics can be included. However, this decision is made by the subject committee where all experts weigh their opinion. But with changing times, such changes should also be accommodated in the syllabus to prepare the child to face the future,” said Garad.
He added that SCERT hosts various audio-visual programs which include discussions around such important topics.
“Cell phones and the internet are relatively new for children. And children should know how to handle these devices more safely. It is the need of the hour,” said Garad.
KK Patil, director at Balbharti, said that at present there are multiple videos regarding cyber security and safe and secured usage of cell phones on the official channel of the department on social media.
“We have uploaded videos for teachers and students on social media platforms spreading awareness regarding the importance of cyber security. There are multiple such initiatives where we focus on contemporary issues like this,” said Patil.