Anxious concern over installation of cameras in schools

A pilot scheme by the Department of Education and Training to install cameras in pre-schools as a way to manage teachers and children has caused concern amongst teaching staff.

The plan has not been received well by the schools’ managing board and parents alike. As Nguyen Thi Kim Dung, headmistress of the 19/5 pre-school in district 1, claimed the intention to install cameras in classes has met with strong opposition from the teaching staff, who feel this new move shows lack of respect for them.

Ms. Tang Lang believes only private and international pre-schools need cameras because these schools are short staffed

Ms Tang Lang, chief of Hoa Mi 2 pre-school in district 5 agrees with Ms. Kim Dung, that installing cameras is not a good way to control teachers as it seems offensive. She believed that managers should make frequent visits to classes to check on the staff, instead of installing cameras.

She was of the view that private educational institutes needed cameras because they were short staffed and had to rely on cameras, whilst public schools were well staffed and had enough personnel to monitor the classes.

Teacher Nguyen Thi Ngoc Hiep of 19/5 pre-school commented that education leaders must not implement this scheme, but have faith in teachers who actually love children and should not be treated with suspicion. 

Moreover, the performance of teachers would suffer if they became aware of the watchful eye of the camera.

Nguyen Thi Kim Thanh, head of HCM City's Department of Education and Training Pre-school Unit, said that this was merely an idea and she would be cautious in its implementation as it could only be done when it met with the unanimous approval of both teachers and parents.

According to Truong Thi Viet Lien, headmistress of a pre-school in district 11, the installation of cameras would cost the schools at least VND100 million and the school would have to rely on contributions from parents which would not be easy to obtain.

Some private and international pre-schools in HCMC did have cameras in their class rooms but their purpose was not to monitor teachers but rather a way for parents to observe their beloved kids’ activities in school.

By Anh Thu - Translated by Truong Son

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