E-Jagratha is an internet security awareness programme under the initiation of District Administration and District e-governance Society of Ernakulam, Kerala. Introduced in 2016 for government and aided high school students in collaboration with TCS, the project has now entered its third phase. Elets News Network (ENN) explored the progress and unique features of this project in conversation with K. Mohammed Y Safirulla, District Collector, Ernakulam, under whose guidance the project is being driven.+
E -Jagratha programme’s basic objective is to promote Cyber Safety and Internet Awareness among High School Students of both Government and Aided Schools. The targetted students are from High School level (8th, 9th and 10th).
This programme can bring remarkable change in urban as well rural high schools and set as an example for student transformation and teacher empowerment. The structure of e-Jagratha is designed in such a way that it starts from basic orientation of students to school-level awareness and further empowerment of schools as a whole. “Another important innovative way of thinking apart from normal reasons which helped us in brining an IT company is that when the students come to TCS Campus during their training they experience the real features of the cyber world and its ecosystem,” said Safirulla.
It triggers their inquisitiveness to learn wider aspects and verticals of cyber world. Now, nearing its one year of completion of this project, it is in the third phase of a successful implementation.
The first phase of e-Jagratha was launched by Kerala’s Revenue Principal Secretary P.H. Kurian at TCS Center Auditorium, Infopark Cochin on 21st October, 2016. It has focused on 101 government high school students of Ernakulam district spread over four regions. “Major objectives of the Phase-I programme are to disseminate basic internet awareness, use the internet safely and responsibly, identify the opportunities and pitfalls in internet, protection against cyber crimes, dos and don’ts of using cyber space. The programme was designed at three levels – Orientation, Awareness, and Empowerment in each phase,” said K. Mohammed Y Safirulla, District Collector, Ernakulam.
The society has collaborated with TCS Infopark Kochi and it has prepared the complete curriculum and presentation materials. We are also financially supported by State Bank of India. First phase of the program was completed within 3 months by Dec 2016.
The beginning of the programme starts with orientation level and each school nominates a student and a teacher sent to the TCS campus for training by the TCS professionals. After first-level orientation, these trained people act as a master trainers in their respective schools to propagate the cyber knowledge.
This is the second-level which creates awareness and benefits the schools. Further, each addition and advancement in topics in next phase acts as empowerment level. Education department provides the shortlisted schedule of schools and TCS gives them training. The training level and qualities are monitored by TCS and District Administration.
School students, covered under this project, are encouraged to take up an internal examination after the awareness level training and are awarded a cash price of Rs 1,000.
After successful completion of its phase – II, now e-Jagrtha has entered in Phase 3 from July 2017. As part of phase 3, TCS has given 100 Desktop Computers for select schools, where IT infrastructure and lab facilities are poor and inadequate.
Similar structure and level of training adopted in phase – III schools with addition of advancement courses such as introduction of Robotics, cloud etc.Training programmes have already been started from July 2nd week and should be completed within 31st July 2017 in their schools for 8th Standard students as per the plan.
From November 2017 till January 2018, the school-level awareness of advanced courses with the help of master trainers will be carried out in their respective schools.
Learning from innovations
Innovative aspect of the e-Jagratha project is that it is enabling the students of government schools, who are less exposed to the cyber world, to get a real time exposure on nuances of Cyber World with live videos and examples along with the practical experience.
Major problem relating to syllabus formation was solved with the brainstorming sessions and sharing of ideas and concepts that needed more concentration with the TCS and District team along with Cyber experts.
For this project, a nodal officer was appointed to have a single point of contact with the District administration, TCS, Education Department other stakeholders. From the Education Department a teacher was appointed to coordinate among all the schools with the help of all concerned Divisional Educational Officers.
With the help of all the concerned school head masters we were able to arrange all vehicles also for transportation from a single point.
The visible improvement that is observed is based on the tremendous exposure on the topic with respect to the eagerness and increase level of motivation.
Students are empowered by learning through this kind of special programmes and don’t consider they are lacking anything from their private school counterparts. After this programme, students are excited and anxious to pursue career opportunities available in IT and cyber security. Even parents are now informed and have started showing interest in knowing some of the useful topics to help their kids in adapting IT knowledge and other aspects of cyber security. This project has the scope and potential for replicability in other Districts/States.
As the programme has ensured an environment of conscious and informed usage of cyber technology, IT and internet in their regular life, it seems knowledge enrichment is a never ending process which can be replicated anywhere, actually helping our future generations.