As part of its mega CCTV project, the Delhi government on Saturday launched its programme for installation of 1.2 lakh cameras across 1,041 government schools in Delhi. But with children now under CCTV surveillance in classrooms, corridors and playground of the school, NDTV went and spoke to all parties to see the feedback to the scheme.
The government school in Lajpat Nagar is the first government school where cameras have been installed - 210 of them in all corners.
The live feed of the classroom will soon be available to parents through a mobile app and a password received from the school. Parents are currently being explained how to install the app and go through further process.
Ruchi Das, a parent who came to pick her two children from the school, said, "We are happy that because of the cameras child will be safe. If we get late in reaching school when classes are dismissed there used to be a fear that the child could run away and get lost. But now we will be able to watch him on the cellphone and will be assured."
Another parent Sukumar Panigrahi said, "My child is in primary class and among such small children fights frequently take place but it gets hard to know who is the culprit. With cameras we will know and we'll also know how the class teacher is treating our child."
By November, a total of 1.2 lakh CCTV cameras are set to be installed across 1,041 government schools. Rs 600 crore is the budget for the scheme. By July, 200 schools will have CCTV cameras. Each school will have 150-200 cameras.
But the teachers and some parents have objected to the move.
Santram, District Secretary of Delhi Government School Teachers Association, said, "Teachers and students have a relationship in the process of imparting knowledge. Because of the cameras we will be forced to behave artificially, it won't be natural. By placing cameras you also raise questions on the integrity and qualification of the teachers."
Harish Mehra, Zonal Head of Delhi Parents Association, said, "Most of the parents who send their children to government schools tend to be from marginalised sections and they aren't well educated. If somebody with a malicious intent tricks them into giving away the access id there can be a threat to the safety of children."
But the Delhi government has defended the move.
Manish Sisodia, Education Minister, said, "As far as the creativity of the teacher is concerned, if he is already teaching 50 kids in a class just the presence of a camera won't affect him. It is the association's politics to make such statements. Parents are happy. I don't think they will give away the access to anybody else. Hypothetically even if one does get access he will only see 40 kids studying. Nothing more can be obtained out of it."
Installation of CCTV cameras in Delhi was among Aam Aadmi Party's biggest election promises of 2015.
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