CCTV: Pvt institutions cry foul over 'one-sided' guidelines

They question if 'perversion' was restricted only to private schools

While there is a deadline for private schools to abide by the CCTV regulations, there is no such compulsion for government schools. The discrimination in regulations has irked private school authorities, prompting them to question whether sexual harassment of children was exclusive to private schools alone. 

Headmasters of various private aided and un-aided schools in the district, while expressing their support for the proposed initiative, have expressed surprise over the ‘one-sided’ regulation. However, officials of the Department of Public Instruction say that CCTVs will also be installed at Government schools, but, in phases.

Deputy Director of Public Instruction, H R Basappa said that unlike the deadline for private institutes, CCTVs for government schools will be installed, when funds are released by the government for the same.

According to Mahadevappa, headmaster of St Mary’s School, H D Kote, said that CCTVs were effective in monitoring teachers and students in classroom. “It will create a fear in the minds of teachers and might also assist in effective teaching,” he said.

He added that an illusion has been created in the minds of people, following recent cases of sexual assault reported in schools that such cases occur only in private schools.

Prabhakar K of B Madappa School, K R Nagar said that the government guidelines were based on “wrong assumptions”. “People with perverted behaviour are not restricted to private schools alone. It will not come as a surprise if teachers with perverted behaviour worked in government schools too. How will the government will check their activities without installing CCTVs?” he said.

Another headmaster of a school, who did not wish to be named, said the State government was not in a position to provide teachers to schools, let alone CCTVs.

“However, they are arm twisting the private institutions, several of which are run on charities, to mandatorily install CCTV. By mandating such a rule, the government is providing room for corrupt practices. Some schools might install cheap CCTV cameras just to show that they have followed the guidelines. Who is to assure the quality and usefulness of these devices?” he questioned.

Government schools

District authorities have sent a list of schools where the number of girls are more than 200. Basappa said that priority in Government institutes was for girls schools. There were a total of 12 government girls schools in the district, He added.

Sources in the department said that there were no specific guidelines, regarding safety for students in government schools, along the lines of guidelines for private institutions. The official said that a decision regarding the same will be taken at the government level.

“However, we have received no communication of any decision yet,” the official added.

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