JIS: The Ministry of Education Youth and Information has endorsed the use of the Stay Alert App developed by the Ministry of National Security. This app is one way for students, teachers, and other persons to be proactive in taking personals steps to aid in their safety.
The ministry also notes that many schools have policies relating to cell phones, and while clear policies are to be developed and enforced, the ministry's position, pursuant to the revision of the Safety and Security Policy Guidance 2015, is that the education, youth and information ministry fully supports the use of technology and the use of mobile phones in the teaching and learning environment.
The Ministry has also instructed that school officials determine to what extent, if any, phones should be used during school-contact time.
With the increased use of technology, the Stay Alert APP in the hands of students is being encouraged.
The ministry notes from previous reports that thousands of prank calls to emergency numbers such as 119 have been made and is encouraging the responsible and appropriate use of the app.
The Safety and Security Policy Guidance manual also speaks to the ministry's policy on the use of mobile phone and social media.
Section 3.9, under the sub-heading Inappropriate Use of Mobile Phones, says: "With the increase in the use of technology, the Ministry endorses the use of mobile phones, which can be used to aid in the learning environment of students. Boards of schools are therefore encouraged to develop clear polices based on their particular situation with the use, or lack thereof, in this regard.
"3.10 Inappropriate use of other electronic devices
These devices include cameras, MP3 players and Game-Boys. Similar procedures as applied to mobile phones should be followed for all unauthorised electronic devices. Principals are directed to set clear rules and guidelines for those electronic devices that are allowed in the school. For items prohibited, similar procedures apply as outlined above.
GUIDELINES FOR SOCIAL MEDIA USE IN SCHOOLS
The purpose of this section is to outline the Ministry's standard guidelines for social media use. These guidelines are as follows:
The information posted online will follow you into adulthood and sometimes the damage created may affect your career goals.
Social media venues are public and information can be shared beyond your control. Be conscious of what you post online as you will leave a long-lasting impression on many different audiences.
Do not post or link anything (photos, videos, web pages, audio files, forums, groups, fan pages, etc) to your social-networking sites that you wouldn't want friends, peers, parents, teachers, school administrators, or future employers to access. What you present on social networking forums represents you forever.
If a student sees anything of concern on another student social networking page or account, they should immediately contact the dean of discipline, guidance counsellor, or another adult within the school community.
Think before you post. The ministry asks students to use discretion when posting to the Internet.
The Ministry reserves the right to request school-related images or content posted without permission to be removed from the Internet.
Do not misrepresent yourself by using someone else's identity. Remember, identity theft is a major crime.
When responding to others, remember to be respectful and avoid comments that may be hurtful. Do not use profane, obscene, or threatening language.
On and offline pornography is not appropriate for students. Students shall not participate in materials containing explicit description or display of sexual activities.
Only accept invitations to share information from people you know. Utilise privacy settings to control access to your network, web pages, profile, posts, blogs, wikis, podcasts, digital media, forums, groups, fan pages, etc.
Most human-trafficking recruiters solicit their victims online. Human trafficking is dangerous as research has shown that only one in every 100 victims is recovered.
Online stalkers and identity thieves are a real threat. Never share personal information, including, but not limited to, social security numbers, phone numbers, addresses, exact birth dates, and pictures with parties you don't know or on unsecured sites.
Users should keep their passwords secured and never share passwords with others. If someone tampers with your blog, email, or social-networking account without you knowing about it, you could be held accountable.
Cyber bullying is considered an act of harassment. Avoid using electronic communication to intimidate or threaten others online.
Use of your schools logos or images on your personal social-networking sites is prohibited. If you wish to promote a specific school activity or event, you may do so only by means of a link to the official school Facebook account, Twitter account, or YouTube channel.
- Courtesy of Ministry of Education, Youth and Information
CAPTION: In this file photo, Rickeem Raybe is all smiles as he checks out the new tablet he received during a handover ceremony for Tablets in Schools at the Haile Selassie High School, 16-24 Payne Avenue, in Kingston.