AU teachers complain of harassment and abusive messages during online lessons
As online courses at Delhi University (DU) colleges start amid the lockdown, many teachers have complained that some ‘evil elements’, which are not on the list, are ‘abusing’ the medium. and harassed teachers with obscene messages and messages.
Several teachers at AU colleges said they were abused and harassed by some participants during online classes. The teachers said they informed the university administration of the misconduct.
An assistant professor at a college on the south campus, requesting anonymity, said he was taking an online course on the Zoom app last week when someone logged in and started writing obscene messages on the adult chat. “It was so sudden that it took us a few minutes to realize what was going on. It was embarrassing for all of us. We had to abruptly suspend the course. We later went through the recorded video of the conference to identify the person. We found that there was no student of the name in our class, ”he said.
Another faculty member, who teaches at a women-only college in West Delhi, said one person logged in to their class with the username of an adult film actor and had started posting abusive messages against women. “We have noticed that some foreigners are logging into our classes using the links we send to our students every day on our university WhatsApp groups. We share our screen during online lessons with our students and anyone can use it and post their opinions and questions. We are trying to find a way to solve this problem, ”said the teacher.
Rajesh Jha, member of the AU Executive Council (EC), said such incidents were reported by many teachers in the past few days. “Several teachers also informed us that they had been abused and harassed during these live lessons. Teachers send out invitations to live sessions on Zoom or Google Meet to their students every day. Students can log in simply by entering their names and email credentials. These incidents make it clear that students also share these invitations with foreigners. Many countries are facing similar problems in organizing online courses, ”he said.
According to foreign media reports, Singapore has banned some video conferencing apps for teaching purposes after hackers posted obscene images during lessons.
Rajinder Singh, secretary of the AU Teachers’ Association (DUTA), said he also received complaints from teachers. “Teachers have now started to take precautions. Some of them told us that they immediately remove from the classroom anyone who wrote or shared unnecessary messages, ”he said.
A senior university official said he was looking into the matter. “We are aware of these incidents. We are looking at the issue and trying to resolve it. We may soon file a complaint with the police about it, ”said an AU official.
Experts said educational institutions should choose wisely the software tools they use for online courses.
Apar Gupta, Executive Director of the Internet Freedom Foundation, said: “There is always a risk of cybercrime or hacking when using software tools for any purpose. But educational institutions can minimize this risk by choosing more personal software tools rather than using the more popular ones. In addition, there is a need to give proper training to teachers and instructors on how to handle such situations during a session. ”
The Internet Freedom Foundation, according to its website, is a digital freedoms organization that seeks to ensure that technology respects basic rights and that Indian citizens can use the Internet with constitutionally guaranteed freedoms.