Today, the CyberPeace Foundation announced a partnership with WhatsApp to create awareness on cyber safety among students. This is an effort to build on their earlier partnership with WhatsApp under the “e-Raksha” program that reached thousands of students. This association aims to reach about 15,000 students in five Indian states, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Maharashtra by the end of this year as the first phase of a pan-India program.
CyberPeace Foundation 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 “CyberPeace Club” to ensure that this knowledge is further institutionalized and manage a repository of guidance that other students can refer to for boosting online child safety. 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.
Talking about the partnership, Vineet Kumar, Founder and President CyberPeace Foundation, said, “We are excited to partner with WhatsApp to increase the cyber safety quotient of students across India. 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. Given the widespread popularity of WhatsApp, we are confident that the initiative will entail in creating sustainable cyber aware school students and bolster the educational system in India against cyber attacks.”
The core focus of this partnership will remain to create awareness, critical thinking, and logical reasoning to infuse a sense of responsibility and resilience amongst the children as their online interactions increase. This educational partnership is a 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 partnership intends to engage with key organizations like NCPCR, UNICEF and MHRD as part of efforts to protect and promote child rights.
“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. This partnership underscores the critical need for cyber safety through digital literacy and we are delighted to be a part of this initiative.” – Shivnath Thukral, Public Policy, WhatsApp India
CyberPeace Foundation and WhatsApp believe that it is crucial to engage with civil society, industry, academia and government to increase digital literacy efforts in India and remain committed to making cyberspace safe for everyone.