McAfee to teach private schoolchildren Internet security

A number of private schoolchildren in the State will soon learn lessons on internet safety measures, as a part of their ICT (information and communication technology) curriculum, through an initiative by the UNESCO and McAfee, a computer software security company.


 According to Anand Prahlad, managing director, McAfee, India, the lessons will be taught free of cost and the aim is to reach 1 lakh children by March, 2015, in Karnataka and Haryana, another state where the initiative is being started. He interacted with the reporters after the launch of the initiative here on Monday.  

Classes 5 to 12 will be benefitting from this initiative. The initiative that is called the ‘Digital Wellness Curriculum’, will have four modules that will include providing information on cyber threats like cyber bullying, cyber predation, gaming addiction, identity theft etc, dangers on the intrusion of the ubiquitous social media and creating more awareness on the same. Several master trainers will be trained for the purpose, who will in turn train the teachers of the particular schools. The curriculum will also be available in Kannada, apart from English and Hindi. 

A recent survey by the Indian Market Research Bureau (IMRB), a market research firm puts the number of internet user at 243 million in the country, out of which as many as 48 per cent are below the age of 25. The McAfee Annual Tween Technology survey conducted among 1,000 children in various metro cities last year showed that 58 per cent of them used weak and low level security passwords and 41 per cent of them shared personal information on Facebook.  

A number of schools in the City like Delhi Public School (DPS), Yelahanka (North), Indus International School, Sarjapur Road and Sri Kumarans Children’s Home, will be involved with the initiative. 

Manju Balasubramani, Principal, DPS, North said, “Kids these days are born into technology and an initiative like this is definitely needed to empower and educate the children. We will be imparting the course over a period of three months as a part of the regular computer classes,” said Manju.

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