Mangaluru, Dec 03, 2014: The government had in a circular to schools directed installation of CC cameras before November 30. Though the installation of CCTV cameras in schools has been made compulsory by the State government, not even one in 10 schools in the district has installed it in their classrooms. This was a vital step to be taken by schools following grave incidents involving sexual assault on children.
A report from the Education Department shows negligible progress. While one-third of private, unaided schools in the district have managed to install cameras, the number is negligible in aided schools (just 33 out of 222 schools) and government schools (four out of 954 schools).
Private and aided schools have been asked to tap into their alumni network or seek donors to sponsor; while, government schools are waiting for an action plan from the Education Department, said officials.
“Private schools will have to use the funds they have accumulated over the years. But, the costs involved, upwards of Rs. 30,000, are an impediment. For government schools, we have asked the State government for funding as they can’t afford it,” said Deputy Director of Public Instruction Mangaluru.
Moreover, an education official in Belthangady said private security companies are struggling to meet the “sudden surge” in demand for CCTV systems.
Funding anomaly : Though schools have been explicitly asked not to raise funding from students, a few complaints have trickled in. Among the complaints is of Bethany Pre-Primary School in Kalpady near Mulki, which had sent a letter to the parents asking them to pay Rs. 300 each for the cameras. The school estimates that Rs. 55,000 is needed to install cameras in each of the 10 classrooms.
Armed with a copy of the letter, Democratic Youth Federation of India lodged an official complaint with the Mangalore North Block Education Office, which has told the school there was “no reason” to collect additional fees.
One school Headmistress informed that the decision to get the parents to pay was taken in consultation with parents themselves. It was stated this is a cost the school cannot meet. With the Educational Department reminding us again to install it as soon as possible, we have to ask parents to donate funds. There is no force or pressure in the move she said. Indeed this is a sticky situation for parents and students.