With the rising number of cyberbullying cases in the sultanate among school-going students, the Ministry of Education (MoE) has launched a project to raise awareness on cybersecurity in the sultanate’s schools.
Called Cyber First, the programme aims to develop the capabilities and awareness of students on aspects of information security, cybercrime and cyber blackmail.
Speaking to Muscat Daily, Talal Said Ali al Asmi, director of Electronic Information Security Department at MoE, said, “MoE has launched the Cyber First programme project in schools in collaboration with Advanced Cyber Security Academy (ACA) and National Cyber Security Centre in the UK.
“The project, which is in its first phase targeted 100 students in the governorates of Muscat, Dakhliyah, North Batinah and Dhofar.” As many as 20 people underwent training in the Academy of Advanced Cyber Security in the first phase of the programme, said Asmi.
“The project aims at developing the capabilities and awareness of students on aspects of information security, cybercrime and cyber blackmail. “It also aims to enhance the principle of effective partnership between civil society, government and private sector institutions in implementing such programme,” Asmi said. It is not just important to know about an issue but one should be able to share it with friends, said Asmi.
“The programme provides educational content that enhances students’ abilities and skills in the field of information security, and allows them to transfer knowledge to their colleagues, and the surrounding community,” said Asmi.
He added, “We monitored more than 650 online bullying and blackmail cases in 2018. Of these 390 involved male and 260 female students. Muscat Governorate had the highest cases and Dhofar the lowest.”