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Schools Report Infiltration of Porn, Threats During Online Sessions

Child on a laptop [Photo/Courtesy]

An uninvited visitor crashed a zoom class at a high-end private school in Nairobi and flooded the online lesson with pornographic images and videos.

The video conferencing class was in session for students in Class 7 and 8. Parents reported that the interlude lasted about 5 minutes in which time the screens were filled with pornography and obscene language.

“The Class 7 meeting is out of hand, one pupil is sharing pornographic materials and using foul language. Parents, if you are in a position to do so, please supervise your children,” one parent posted on the school platform.

“The porn video is playing! Please do away with Zoom meetings,” another parent posted.

“Personally, I will not allow my son to join any Zoom meeting again,” yet another parent posted.

Read: UoN Law Students Sue Institution Over Online Classes, Exams

The school’s technology department is reported to be looking into the matter as parent’s sought anonymity over fear of retaliation. Law enforcement agencies are also said to be looking into the matter.

Many teachers have also reported that a number of schools are dealing with the same issue, albeit quietly. They said that they were at a loss on how to deal with students who were forming chat groups under the learning platforms.

“Some children keep on sharing images and chatting when the class is on. Some of them form a group where they lock out even the teacher and you cannot know what they are sharing or discussing.

“We are left to plead with parents to monitor what is being done from the child’s end,” a private primary school teacher conducting online classes said.

Read Also: Winnie Odinga To Defy Gov’t On Conducting Online Classes, To Start Teaching History, English

Schools are reporting hijackers who infiltrate classes at all levels, including playgroups and nursery classes up to Class 8 and secondary school.

Reading lessons, maths, science and other lessons have been invaded by obscene words, images and threats.

During this pandemic period where schools and offices have shifted to online meetings and learning, platforms such as Zoom, Google Meet and Microsoft’s teams, have become popular.

Zoom has been riddled with cases of “zoombombing” since its popularity surged earlier this year. The company has tried to enforce measures to combat the issue following public outcry over numerous security issues on the app.

Read Also: Non-Teachers Conducting Online Classes are Committing a Crime – PS Belio Kipsang

Similar incidents have been reported in the US, India and Singapore.

Cyber-security expert Laura Tich said zoombombing occurs when someone shares a unique Zoom link on social media or another public forum. Once the hijacker lands on the session, they disrupt the meeting by joining the call.

“The culprits might share their screens to broadcast offensive photos or videos,” she said.

“They can also flood the text chat feature with similarly offensive messages to other members of the call or target one person with provocative direct messages.” the expert said.

Read Also: Brookhouse School Ordered To Offset 50 Percent Of Third Term Fees, Suspend Online Classes For Kindergarten To Year 4

Nicholas Maiyo, Kenya Parents Association chairman, has called for a crackdown on cyber bullies who are infiltrating the online learning spaces.

“We are deeply concerned the new learning solutions have been turned into vehicles for violent and sexual attacks…With so much of children’s education now moved online, particular schools should come up with measures to ensure the safety of learners and teachers as well,” Maiyo told the Star on the phone.

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Written by Vanessa Murrey

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