6.1 Cybersafety

I worry about risks to students in their online experience. It is very important that students are safe online. Offline is bit easier to manage due to controlled environment in schools but access to internet takes them beyond school walls.  One extreme could be to block access to internet at all or discourage it by limiting bandwidth. This hinders students’ progress by disconnecting them from rest of the world. Moreover, curiosity will drive them crazy and whenever they go back to their homes, they will access internet and explore all sort of things that they have not been taught to deal with in school. Most of schools have already realized that blocking and banning is not working. Allowing unrestricted access to internet is also not a solution to this problem. So all countries have some website blocked because they believe that contents of the websites are not in line with the social values of the country and they don’t want to corrupt minds of their citizen by exposing them to “wrong contents”.  I argue that two-pronged policy can be used to handle this situation. One is web monitoring systems to manage blacklist that will ensure safe dealing with cyber world. However, best one is to convince students to have safe conduct online by educating them about responsible conduct online. In case of China, there are focused efforts to educate students about responsible conduct online. Moreover, local governments often run campaigns on electronic and print media to educate people about internet safety.  In addition, it is part of our school policy to reiterate this often in variety of ways. It is taught in planning-10 course. Moreover, there are clubs in school to highlight this issue. It is also part of ICT 11 and 12 courses.  It is also part of our teacher advisory groups (TAG) meetings with students.  Generally speaking, students are submissive to school authorities in oriental cultures and they heed to authority’s advice. So we have not experienced many problems about cyber safety.

Government’s strict control on internet also ensure safe online environment for students. All websites, that have registered their domain names in China, go through strict web surveillance to ensure good quality of contents. Moreover, each political jurisdiction has its own layer of regulations to keep eye on contents on internet. People, in general, are open to try new technologies to improve standards of living. Moreover, Chinese parents are also very supportive of internet use for the education. So they never complained about this.