by Abhishek Kumar
Schools are much more than their identity of institutions providing academic training to the children. They, instead, are the very places where the seeds of a nation’s future are sown. They prepare a long line of professionals ranging from scientists, business personalities, sportsmen, policymakers, and so on who involve themselves in nation building and represent the country globally through their work. But when the environment within our school campuses isn’t conducive, we can’t expect the apple to fall very far from the tree.
In India, whilst the nation has bigger challenges to address, significantly less attention is paid to creating an environment across school campuses that is conducive for learning and development. We are often taken aback with incidents of violence and assaults at our schools. The case of Pradhyuman Thakur hasn’t washed off the public memory, where a student was brutally murdered by slitting his throat in our national capital, causing a nationwide uproar. Still, little is being done to prevent such situations from occurring all over again, as similar incidents are reported every now and then.
A known benefit: CCTVs can help improve security in schools
If we have to put a check on this ongoing trend, the first step that needs to be taken is the deployment of surveillance and security cameras across our school campuses. This deployment has to be across every nook and corner of the school. This will, at least, create a sense of fear amongst the wrongdoers, and a sense of security for the guardians. But, if a truly effective measure has to be taken, we need something more than just fear. We need proactive security.
Here, one of the most fundamental challenges that we encounter is the alertness of a security personnel monitoring the security feed. A critical incident, such as violence or an assault, can easily go unnoticed if the security personnel are inattentive or unavailable. The video feed will though be pivotal in nabbing the malefactor, it still wouldn’t provide the desired security to the students.
Modern surveillance and security solutions, with their video analytics and sophisticated surveillance capabilities, can easily do away with these predominant challenges. It can be used to create a surveillance system that will be able to identify all critical incidents ranging from violence, presence of an unauthorized person, and even aggressive behavior of a student, faculty member, or a worker. It can, thereupon, notify the designated security personnel or any other stakeholder (such as the school principal) along with the video proof and live security feed of that area. This can further lead to quickly taking the most appropriate preventive measure, rather than responding to it when the situation gets escalated.
Can surveillance cameras help improve quality of education?
Such sophisticated systems can also prove themselves worthy in enhancing the learning curve of students, especially by understanding their individual proclivities – whether it is arts, sports, or academics – and then helping them cultivate their own skillset in line with their passion. This approach will deliver better results as compared with the ‘one-size-fits-all’ methodology that we by and large follow at present.
India, as a nation, is also on the receiving end of the inconsistency within its quality of education. If the government deploys such advanced cameras across schools, it can also assess the performance of teachers and identify regions where educational quality isn’t up to the mark. It can, consequently, conduct targeted workshops to disrupt the status quo in education. It can also use these devices to ensure that its welfare schemes, such as mid-day meals, are rightly implemented even across remote locations.
As security and surveillance offerings continue to be deployed for wide-ranging use cases in India today, it is our school campuses where they are needed the most. But this change will only come if all of the stakeholders associated with the education sector – including key decision makers such as schools, educational groups, as well as national and state governments – launch a volley of concentrated efforts towards bringing it about as soon as possible.
Abhishek Kumar is Regional Director, South Asia at Oncam
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