Facebook-owned WhatsApp said it had partnered Cyber Peace Foundation (CPF) to create awareness on cyber safety among students. The partners aim to reach about 15,000 students in five Indian states Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Maharashtra by the end of this year under the first phase of a pan-India programme, a statement said.
This latest initiative builds on a previous partnership under the ‘e-Raksha’ programme that reached thousands of students, it added. CPF will train teachers, parents and students using a co-created curriculum to arm them with tips and tricks to increase online safety for children in consultation with UNICEF and state police authorities.
At the end of these training, the participants will create a ‘Cyber Peace Club’ to ensure that this knowledge is further institutionalised and manage a repository of guidance that other students can refer to for boosting online child safety, the statement said. The curriculum that has been created by WhatsApp and CPF will focus on developmental skills and offer consultations with education boards, and governments at the state and national level, it added.
“Increasingly as students spend more time online, they are more vulnerable to cyber threats such as cyberbullying, stumbling across child abuse material, cybercriminals disrupting online classes, the spread of misinformation, privacy issues and more,” Vineet Kumar, founder and president of Cyber Peace Foundation, said.
This educational partnership is part of WhatsApp’s multi-year campaign on safety focusing on digital literacy and creating awareness that has impacted millions, as well as inculcating behavioural changes that can help address the challenges of online safety, the statement said.
“WhatsApp stays committed to the safety and privacy of our users. In addition to providing end-to-end encryption that already protects the messages on WhatsApp every day, we continue to work closely with child safety experts, governments and technology companies to help keep people safe,” WhatsApp India Public Policy Director Shivnath Thukral said.