Reiterating its commitment to make the web a safer place for everyone, Google India on Tuesday announced its collaboration with NCERT to integrate a course on "Digital Citizenship and Safety" in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) curriculum in schools.Students from class I to class XII across 1.4 million schools in India would now learn how to become good and responsible digital citizens, through structured classroom modules on the social, ethical and legal aspects of Internet safety. "Users who are coming online for the first time need to be aware of the possible negative experiences that they may incur on the web," Sunita Mohanty, Director, Trust and Safety at Google India, said in a statement on Safer Internet Day."This makes it important for us to start a dialogue on the dangers and threats they can be exposed to when surfing the net. Through our course integration with NCERT, we aim to catch children young and teach them the essentials of staying safe, while exploring the online world," Mohanty added.
In addition, Google has also created a curriculum for teachers so that they can help students learn all about digital citizenship in their classrooms."In an increasingly connected world, the Internet is fast emerging as a learning space for our students and it's our responsibility as educators to provide them with a safe learning environment," Amarendra Behera, Joint Director, CIET - NCERT, added.The programme includes specific resources for kids and educators, enabling them with the tools they need to learn and educate themselves on Internet safety. The syllabus for online safety presented in the curriculum will be systematically graded and has been divided into four overarching themes -- Being Smart; Being Safe; Being a Digital Citizen and Being Future Ready. The curriculum is structured to match the intellectual and curiosity needs of different age group of the children. As they advance through their classes, they will be taught more advanced topics such as privacy, device management, intellectual property and reputation management.On the occasion, Google also announced the winners of the third edition of its "Web Rangers" competition -- an initiative that is designed to spread awareness about Internet safety and promote digital citizenship.