Teaching coding to children: Centre says some companies mislead people with inappropriate ads

“Certain companies which started inappropriate ads are misleading the customers. The Ministry of Education has taken certain steps to educate the people about the false claims made by such companies in their advertisements,” education minister

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  5 Feb 2021 4:32 AM GMT
Teaching coding to children: Centre says some companies mislead people with inappropriate ads

Hyderabad: Union Minister of Education Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' on Thursday said the advertisements related to teaching coding to young children are impractical and misleading.

"Certain companies which started inappropriate ads are misleading the customers. The Ministry of Education has taken certain steps to educate the people about the false claims made by such companies in their advertisements," education minister told Rajya Sabha.

It may be recalled that one edtech company "WhiteHat Jr' has been accused of publishing controversial ads to mislead and pry on parents. WhiteHat Jr teaches coding to children. Later the company was asked by the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) to remove certain advertisements as well. 'WhiteHat Jr' is bought by BYJU'S, India's biggest edtech company in 2018.

The edtech company has filed two defamation lawsuits for $2.3 million against tech blogger and, YouTuber Pradeep Poonia, and $1.9 million against angel investor Dr. Aniruddha Malpani. Both of them had allegedly exposed the edtech company's misleading tactics.

Poonia was accused of publicly criticizing the marketing tactics of the start-up and spreading misinformation about the founder and the firm.

Replying to a question in Parliament, the education minister also said that such misleading and impractical advertisements have drawn the ire of the ASCI which has asked the specific companies to take down those advertisements as they violate the Self-Regulatory Body's code.

"The ASCI has issued advertising guidelines for educational institutes and courses. Also, the Ministry of Education has directed the State Governments to educate the stakeholders about the practicality and feasibility of such courses," added the minister.


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