CBSE cyber rules for schools

787

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) issued an 18-point guideline “for safe and effective use of internet and digital technologies in schools and school buses.” The circular says that the potential of Information Technology as a valuable learning resource is immense. However, 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 of internet safety norms is absolutely indispensable to make children free to explore knowledge without feeling intimidated. Increasing proliferation and sophistication of various electronic devices makes it all the more obligatory for schools to control and monitor their use by students.

Schools need to promote a safe and secure educational environment for effective teaching and learning and to discourage students from actions detrimental to themselves, their peers and the value system. Schools are, thus, advised to take the following measures to pre-empt any inappropriate and illegal activity through IT enabled devices in schools:

  • Educate students for the safe and effective use of the Internet.
  • Make children explicitly aware of the rule for the acceptable use of the Internet and display rules in this regard prominently.
  • Install effective firewalls, filtering and monitoring software mechanisms in all the computers and regularly review filtering and blocking policies and procedures. Various types of unsolicited contents available on internet must be blocked.
  • Isolate Internet access from other school network.
  • Configure end user computer devices with parental control filters / Antivirus of appropriate standard.
  • Deploy Digital Surveillance system.
  • Make children using the internet to work in highly-visible areas of the school.
  • Supervise and monitor all online activities in the light of educational objectives.
  • Allow children to access only pre-selected websites appropriate to their age group.
  • Aware the teachers and other school staffs about internet safety norms.
  • Sensitise the parents about internet safety norms.
  • Take strict disciplinary action against those who attempt to bypass filtering or to access inappropriate or illegal material.
  • Disable the usernames and passwords of those who leave the school promptly.
  • Do not allow to create accounts for fictitious children or groups.
  • Comply with all relevant legislation on copyright, property theft, fraud, discrimination and obscenity on all forms of IT enabled devices.
  • Avoid digital and video images of individual students/teachers on school websites for safety of children.
  • Use only the licensed version of softwares.
  • Draft a school policy on the safe use of electronic devices and implement it .

Further with reference to Point No 6(g) of Circular No 8/2017/1217401 dated February 2, 2017, on Safety of Children in the School Bus, it is advised that the mobile phone to be made available in each of the school bus to deal with unprecedented emergency, should be of basic model without internet facility and data storage. Schools are also directed to scrupulously follow the directions given in the circular number 02 dated July 29, 2009 regarding restriction of using Mobile Phones in school environments to ensure safety of children.

It is informed that carrying electronic communication devices including those that can store/record/play audio-visual content; transmit or receive images; or provide unfiltered connection to the Internet such as iPads, DVD/CD players, game consoles, handheld PC, smart phones, laptops, tablet or any other gadget with similar capabilities of data storage/transmission is not permitted in school and school bus without prior permission and verification of school authorities. The principal of the school and transport in-charge should check the mobile phone available with the attendant of the bus. It is also reiterated that unmonitored use of any electronic communication device is strictly prohibited in school and school bus and any reported violation in this regard would attract disciplinary action from CBSE.