Budget for CCTV Camera in Delhi Government Schools: Compromising Freedom of Learning


The Budget gives 175 crore Rupees for the installation of CCTV Cameras in government schools stating the reason of precaution. The denial of classroom freedom is a concern for the teaching community.

Reflecting on the Delhi Government’s Budget presented yesterday, government school teachers have voiced their apprehensions about the level of surveillance that is planned to get in place in government run schools for the security of students.  

Teachers from various schools have argued that the kind of surveillance machinery that the government plans to put in place will transform the school as a place from learning to one where one is being always being watched and captivated.  The school shall be a place where learning can take place with dignity and trust and not a place where people are watched over and mistrusted. The recent cases of bad incidents occurring in schools cannot be denied and the wellbeing of children is of utmost importance, irrespective of the fact should schools strive for other ways to make sure that children are safe?

The Budget has given Rupees 175 crore to install CCTV cameras and teachers feel that even within a prison, surveillance cannot be as strict. The inspiration to teach and the motivation to learn will be diminished in that kind of a circumstance.  Safety will not come by installing surveillance mechanisms alone and one must strive for building an environment of mutual trust and transparency. The teaching community has argued that constant surveillance will impoverish them of their motivation to deliver openly in a classroom and it will moreover make students uneasy.  

The school needs its freedom and space to grow. CCTV cameras are only a temporary answer to the immediate issue of precaution but on the ground we have to create an ambience where cooperation and faith are widespread. Our wisdom must equip us to think transcending the surveillance and building an ambiance of real education.

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