New Delhi (Sputnik) — As the shocking murder of a seven-year-old inside the Ryan International school in Gurugram near the Indian capital New Delhi in September last year remains fresh in public memory, the state government of Delhi has decided to provide parents access to real-time footage of what is going on inside schools.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has announced that CCTV cameras would be installed in every nook and corner including the classrooms and parents will be able to monitor the footage through their mobile phones. The process is likely to start in three months.
"This will make the whole system transparent and accountable. It will ensure safety of kids," Arvind Kejriwal tweeted.
Reviewed the progress of installation of CCTV cameras in each class in all govt schools. Each parent will be given access to see his child studying in class on realtime basis on his phone. This will make the whole system transparent and accountable. It will ensure safety of kids— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) January 17, 2018
Gopal Rai, Rural Development Minister of Delhi has hailed this as a revolutionary step for the safety and security of children.
"It's a great initiative of the Delhi government. It will help in improving studies through transparency and accountability as parents can watch their children as well as the teachers. Further, it will strengthen safety and security of the students which is now a core concern for parents especially after the Ryan School incident. In fact, Delhi government schools could become a model which other state government schools can replicate," Gopal Rai told Sputnik.
While the idea was hailed by many as a step in the right direction, critiques including from noted historian Irfan Habib rejected it is an infringement of the freedom of young kids.
Installing CCTV cameras in classes to keep a watch on children in schools is an awful idea. It infringes the freedom of those young Indians who can't fight to defend it. Its a misuse of power by adults. @ArvindKejriwal
— S lrfan Habib (@irfhabib) January 18, 2018
I tried to summarise arguments against CCTV in schools:— Arvind Jha (@jalajboy) January 18, 2018
1. Impinges on child’s right to privacy
2. Feeling of surveillance not good for development
3. Recording will leak, esp naughtiness, risk of shaming
4. Parents can watch other kids. Why?
Anything else? Will escalate.
Seven year old Pradyuman was found with his throat slit inside his school bathroom on September 8 last year. The juvenile accused of the murder belongs to the same school has allegedly confessed to have killed the youngster to postpone an exam for which he had not prepared.
Meanwhile, another seven year old student was found stabbed and bleeding inside a school in the neighboring state of Uttar Pradesh earlier this week. The boy, who is said to be in critical condition, reportedly told the police that a senior studient (a girl) first took him to the bathroom, thrashed him, and then stabbed him with a knife.