Image source: jenhegna.edublogs.org
Facebook reaches more users in India than any other multinational company and its appetite isn’t going to be satiated any time soon. After leading the charge to acquire a state in Reliance Jio Platforms in the home of furthering its user-base, now Facebook is attempting to catch them at the school level itself.
Of course, school kids are already on Facebook as well as its photo and video sharing platform Instagram, besides the all-pervasive WhatsApp messenger. By joining hands with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to offer a certified curriculum, Mark Zuckerberg has now nailed an “official” tag to his social shenanigans.
The certified curriculum jointly offered by CBSE and Facebook relates to digital safety as well as online wellbeing besides an augmented reality program for both educators and students. The idea is a noble one indeed as such a course would help prepare students for emerging jobs and help them identify skills towards making informed decisions on their careers.
And there’s also obviously the supplementary benefit in terms of helping students understand the perils of digital space and giving them the basic skills to safely browse the internet and be aware of the need for mental wellbeing, especially in times of the anxiety and stress over their futures associated with the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a direct endorsement for the venture, the federal HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal issued an official statement encouraging teachers and students to apply for the programs that start off today (July 6, 2020). Meanwhile, Facebook promised that it would provide training in phases across the three-week training program on augmented reality.
Of course, what we can safely assume is that the company would add substantially to its user base in India through these efforts and then deliver online shopping to all of them through their partnership with Jio Platforms where the Mukesh Ambani group company would sell everything from mobile sims to smartphones, grocery and personal needs.
In recent years Facebook has ramped up its social causes by talking about the ill effects of both technology and social platforms and also come up with the “Digital Udaan” program that has been touted as the world’s largest-ever effort on digital literacy. Then there is Instagram’s Guide for Building Healthy Digital Habits program that seeks to support youngsters in their quest for understanding their socio-emotional space.