The Supreme Court on Friday refused to grant a stay on the installation of over 1.5 lakh CCTV cameras in the classrooms of Delhi government schools, in a shot in the arm for Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. A petitioner had filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the apex court challenging the Delhi Government’s decision, citing privacy of students. The court had issued a notice to the state government, which was given six weeks to file its reply.
Kejriwal had launched the CCTV camera installation project on Saturday and called it a historic step. The chief minister had said more than 1,000 Delhi government schools will have CCTV cameras by November.
Launching the drive at a government school in Delhi, Kejriwal had said that the private schools in the national capital have already been directed to install CCTV cameras. The CM said that once implemented, the initiative will be a milestone in school education in the country as it would provide live feed to parents from the classrooms on their mobile phones through an app”.
Dismissing the concerns that it would breach the privacy of children, Kejriwal expressed confidence that the step will help government schools improve results next year. Pointing out that CCTV cameras in schools will ensure direct answerability of the government to the people, he observed that the step would not ony ensure safety of schoolchildren but also instil discipline in them.
Parents will receive an SMS soon after downloading the app from the government control room. They can get to see live classroom feed after proper verifications are made. Speeking at the event, Delhi deputy CM and education minister Manish Sisodia said Shaheed Hemu Kalani Sarvodaya Bal Vidyalaya is India’s first government school that has CCTV camera installed.
Sisodia further claimed that teachers and students have also supported the move. As per the project, two cameras will be fixed in each classroom in schools. Except washrooms, all school premises will have 360 degree coverage of the cameras, while their feed can be from control room.