Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham and AYUDH, the youth wing of Mata Amritanandamayi Math, has launched “Safe & Brave Online” initiative for schools across the schools of Delhi to skill students of classes 8-11 to navigate the online world safely and responsibly.
Specifically curated for students of this age group, the program employs a combination of engaging videos and interactive activities to impart fundamental principles of online safety. The curriculum covers a diverse range of cyber concerns, focusing on three key areas including Stranger Danger, Equipping students with the tools to identify and respond to the presence of strangers online; Safe Use of Internet, Providing guidance on safeguarding personal privacy, discerning fake sites from real ones, and verifying the authenticity of shared news; Digital Lifestyle, Encouraging a healthy digital diet and fostering an understanding of the physical and mental effects of screen usage.
In addition to the video-based material, the program includes debates and worksheet activities that encourage critical thinking and self-assessment of online content. The “Safe & Brave Online” initiative has already seen remarkable success with its pilot launch last month in the Sahodaya group of CBSE schools in Jaipur.
The launch was officially done online by Himanshu Gupta (IAS), Director of Education Govt of Delhi on Sep 20. Speaking about the program, Dr. Krishnashree Achuthan, Director, Cyber Security, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Amritapuri, “Children can be vulnerable targets of cyberbullying, cybercrime, and exposure to inappropriate digital content. It is of paramount importance to equip children with the knowledge and skills to safeguard their private information. Through this program, we aim to empower children to navigate the digital world with wisdom, enhancing their comprehension of the medium while also promoting respect for others on the platform.”
Himanshu Gupta (IAS), Director of Education, in his address said, “The need of the hour is to raise awareness among students regarding responsible usage of digital technology and understanding the challenges brought about by the ongoing digital revolution in the country. It is crucial to educate children about various online threats such as cyber phishing, bullying, hacking, fake links, rumors, and the growing issue of digital addiction, as well as provide them with strategies to navigate these challenges effectively. Striking a balance between technology and physical activities in children’s lives is essential. This program represents a significant initiative in making students aware of the adverse effects of technology and promoting a balanced approach to the use of digital tools.”
Mokshamrita Chaitanya, National Coordinator of AYUDH India said “The importance of online connectivity was vividly demonstrated during the Covid-19 pandemic. Without reliable internet access, students would have been unable to continue their education from home. However, it is crucial to acknowledge that the internet has both positive and negative aspects, and we must actively address the negative aspects to safeguard our children from harm.”