In a recent news report on ZBC TV, teachers in Bulawayo are crying over the installation of Close Circuit Television (CCTV) in their schools citing issues of intrusion and violation of the right to privacy by the technology.
The schools in question include Nkulumane, Mandwandwe and Founders’ High Schools which have biometric systems with Nkulumane now in the process of installing CCTVs in classrooms.
Before teachers in these institutions prioritise their selfish needs or talk of invasion of privacy, they should look at the bigger picture here as well as appreciate the good side of having such technologies installed in learning institutions.
Those who have been in the education sector for some time now know that running a school can be a serious challenge. The larger the school, the more the responsibility and the more challenging it can be to monitor activities obtaining.
A few years back, more than 200 young girls were abducted by Boko Haram an Islamic Terrorist group. Just recently, six school children were also abducted at a remote school of Igbonla Model School, near Epe, Lagos, Nigeria.
Abduction is not only the major cause for concern as they are some teachers who bury within them evil tendencies of abusing pupils behind dark closed doors. Just yesterday, a 46 year old primary school teacher in Chief Chivero’s area in Mhondoro appeared before Harare magistrate, Barbara Chimboza, facing allegations of raping a Form Two pupil in Kuwadzana.
It must be mandatory for every school to at least have security system which protects kids during their time at schools as well as monitor predator teachers.
CCTV actually minimises entry of unauthorised intruders in school premises thus reducing the risk of having abductors disguised as saints walk into school yards.
Issues of break-ins in schools have been on an increase and valuable material for example exam material stolen for some usurious reasons. Having CCTV makes the job of locating buglers easier.
Many incidents take place in the bathrooms in schools that you may not become aware of until after the fact. Issues of drug abuse, alcohol abuse, sex in schools mostly happen in bathrooms or rest rooms. Even though it is illegal to have any type of surveillance recording system in the bathrooms, CCTV helps you can keep an eye on students as they enter and leave the rest rooms.
This will help you, if an incident occurs, to determine exactly who was there.
Government through the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education should liaise with the ministry of ICT on how best they can make CCTV affordable even for poor remote schools.
At least schools must be allowed to import CCTV technologies at subsidised rates so as to ensure every school gets its own fair share of this valuable technology.