Whatsapp-Not Safe! Udgam and Zebar School Shifts to Microsoft Kaizala App
- Udgam School For Children, Zebar School For Children, Satellite School For Children and Bodakdev School For Children started switching to Microsoft Kaizala for instant messaging
- Teachers, staff members and parents of these schools have been instructed to stop using WhatsApp for communicating school-related messages
Citing the reason to discontinue using WhatsApp, Mr. Manan Choksi, Executive Director, Udgam School For Children said, “For the four schools under our purview, we have around 243 different WhatsApp groups and close to 13,700 parents actively using this messaging platform. This popular app has now made it mandatory to accept new privacy norms. WhatsApp’s biggest problem is the lack of trust with it’s users since parent company Facebook faces severe criticism around the world with regards to privacy practices. For us, data privacy and security of our staff and the parents are of utmost importance. Hence, we have decided to shift from WhatsApp and to Microsoft Kaizala which does not rely on advertisement for survival and is committed to protecting data privacy and security.”
Teachers, staff members and parents of USFC, ZSFC, SSFC, and BFSC have been instructed to stop using WhatsApp for official school communications. They have been informed to take the backup of their data and install the ‘Microsoft Kaizala’ app which is available on iOS and Android platforms for free. A team of experts has been formed to assist the users.
Elaborating unique features of the app, Dr. Vinnie Jauhari, Director, Education Advocacy, Microsoft India said, “Kaizala is a phone number-based app and supports and end to end encryption of all the chats, whether private or in groups. It can be used for chatting, photo sharing, and document sharing. It is specially made for larger organisations to enable safe communication among employees and partners, including vendors and clients. Kaizala doesn’t have any limit on the number of members in a group. It also promotes staying updated with interests and passions by creating global public groups.”
“We were the first ones to adapt to WhatsApp for communicating with parents. Since 2014 our schools are using this instant messaging app. However, things will need to be changed due to the new data sharing policy of WhatsApp. Schools should not compel parents to data with Facebook and other platforms and should not force parents to agree to this policy,” added Mr. Manan Choksi.
USFC, ZFSC, SSFC, and BFSC are using Microsoft Teams for online teaching and are successfully conducting live classes for students from Playgroup to 12th standard. All schools are Microsoft Showcase Schools – which gives them access to cutting edge software and varied tools. Each of the 7400+ children get access to free MS Office and 50 GB Exchange Mailbox. Shifting to Kaizala will help students too as they can keep it open on their desktops and laptops to access notices from school teachers without parents needing to buy another phone for children. Moreover, it will keep the privacy and the data of the parents, students, and employees safe.