By Miriam Mangwaya
Pupils have called on government to intensify awareness on cybercrime to help curb abuse of social media in schools.
This was revealed during the on-going awareness campaigns by police to stop social media and drug abuse at schools throughout Mashonaland East province.
Videos of schoolchildren engaging in sex orgies and drug abuse recently went viral on social media amid reports that pupils were taking advantage of the ongoing teachers’ strike to engage in social vices.
Mashonaland East police spokesperson Inspector Tendai Mwanza told NewsDay that the police were educating pupils on the dangers of abusing social media in a bid to promote morality in schools and to protect the minors from abuse in communities.
“Pupils should use the internet for academic purposes and stop committing crimes online,” Mwanza said.
“They should desist from manufacturing and posting pornographic material on social media. Not only is it criminal, but it distracts them from focusing on their studies which were disturbed during the lockdown period.”
Mwanza urged school authorities to ensure pupils abstain from all forms of wayward behaviour by pupils within school premises.
Chipo Musindo, a Form 6 student at Liebenberg High School, said it was important for government to ensure that pupils are fully aware of cybercrime so that they do not commit crimes online out of ignorance.
“New information and communication technologies are important to enhance education, but it is important for authorities to set parameters on how students can use the gadgets,” Musindo said.
“Due to peer pressure, some pupils post obscene videos, messages or pictures on social media platforms unaware of the negative consequences of their acts. Some pupils will be experimenting yet the results can be harmful to the society.”
She urged school authorities to remove social media applications on gadgets used for e-learning to curb commission of crimes through the internet.