Schools can install CCTV cameras in classrooms: HC

The Kerala High Court on Thursday stayed the implementation of circulars of the Director of Public Instructions (DPI) and the Director of Higher Secondary Education (DHSE) ordering school managements not to install CCTV cameras on school premises, especially in classrooms.

The stay order came on a writ petition filed by T.S. Padmakumari, manager, PUPSM High School, an aided school at Nornad, Pathanamthitta, challenging the circulars. Accordingly to the petitioner, the DPI had issued the circular in 2017 while the Director of Higher Secondary Education had passed the circular in July 2018.

The circulars ordered school managements not to install CCTV cameras in schools, on the ground that the use of cameras would cause mental hardships to students. Though the DPI had issued the circular in 2017, it was not implemented on account of the resistance by the managements of various schools.

However, the DPI had now ordered strict compliance with the circulars from this academic year. As a result, the District Educational Officer concerned had informed the petitioner orally to remove all the CCTV cameras from the school premises.

The petitioner said that cameras were installed for the safety of and security of the school. In fact, the classrooms had now become smart with installing projectors, laptops and allied instruments worth lakhs of rupees in classes. Besides, thefts of these equipment from various schools were reported.

Moreover, instances of drug abuse were also reported on the school premises. These could be checked only by installing CCTV cameras. The petitioner sought to quash the circulars and allow school managements to use CCTV cameras for security of the school premises.

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