Be Careful Of Free Services: Government warns parents, students about ed-tech companies

Government has issued an advisory to alert parents, students about online education, coaching, and free services offered by ed-tech companies.

Be Careful Of Free Services: Government warns parents, students about ed-tech companies Government wants students, parents about online education services by ed-tech companies (Representational Image: Shutterstock)
Vagisha Kaushik | Dec 23, 2021 - 6:05 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: The government has issued an advisory warning parents, students, and other stakeholders to be careful while opting for online education offered by ed-tech companies. It has asked the citizens to carefully evaluate especially the free services offered by these companies.

“Given the pervasive impact of technology in education, many ed-tech companies have started offering courses, tutorials, coaching for competitive exams, etc. in an online mode. In this background, the parents, students and all stakeholders in school education have to be careful while deciding on opting for online content and coaching being offered by a host of ed-tech companies,” it said in a statement.

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The Department of School Education and Literacy (DOSEL) said it has noticed some ed-tech companies are tempting and trapping parents in the name of free services and getting the Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) mandate signed by them or activating the auto-debit feature, especially hitting on the vulnerable families.

The Do’s and Don’ts

The government has issued some do’s and don’ts which parents, students and others may follow.

The do’s include avoiding automatic debit option for payment of subscription fee; reading the terms and conditions before accepting any offer; asking for a tax invoice statement for purchase of educational devices; checking background of company; clarifying doubts regarding payment and content; guiding child on usage of features; checking reviews of the company; providing suggestions etc.

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The government has also asked citizens to go through the child safety guidelines mentioned in the PRAGYATA guidelines by the Ministry of Education before using any ed-tech platform.

The don’ts include not blindly trusting advertisements; not signing up for unknown loans; not installing any unknown ed-tech app; not registering credit or debit cards on any app for subscription; not adding personal details like email ID, contact number, card details, address etc.; not clicking on pop-ups etc. from unknown sources among others.

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The government has also shared legal provisions for e-commerce for the knowledge of citizens using the ed-tech services.

Government initiatives on online education

The ministry of education has provided free e-learning contents, textbooks, digital labs for all classes online ensuring quality and access for all for learning. They can be accessed at these websites:

  • SWAYAM PRABHA TV Channels for class 1 to 12-
  • Official learning portals or apps of the states, Union Territories (UTs)

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