Shenzhen’s education bureau is planning to install surveillance cameras in all kindergartens in the city in order to increase transparency and promote safety, according to Shenzhen Special Zone Daily.
The bureau has reportedly drawn up a draft plan to install cameras which will “lay the groundwork for future implementation of artificial intelligence technologies,” such as facial recognition and abnormal-behavior detection, after hearing suggestions from representatives of the city’s National People’s Congress.
“To prevent child abuse requires all kinds of effort, and installing surveillance cameras is the most direct, quick and effective way to do that,” said Hu Rong, one of the congress’ representatives.
The draft plan is now awaiting the approval of the Shenzhen Municipal Government. Once implemented, all kindergartens in the city will be required to install or upgrade their existing surveillance cameras in accordance with China’s current standards. In other words, ‘leave no blind spots.’
These kindergarten-based surveillance cameras will also be incorporated into the Public Security Bureau’s citywide surveillance network, in order to provide a convenient method for police to look into cases of child abuse.
Given the recent rise of child sex abuse in Shenzhen schools, parents are hailing the decision, but there are also those, especially teachers, who oppose the decision for fear of being constantly watched.
“This move shows that society and parents don’t show enough trust and respect for kindergarten teachers. If you truly want to prevent child abuse from happening, the fundamental thing to do is to hire better teachers,” a kindergarten teacher surnamed Fan told That’s.
The education bureau is not unaware of these concerns and has proposed that normal class activities should not be broadcast live and that parents who feel the need to access the video footage should first obtain approval from relevant education or public security departments in the city.
The bureau will also endeavor to establish a blacklist system against teachers with a history of inappropriate behavior, while also adjusting their payment and recruiting mechanism to attract teachers of better educational backgrounds.
[Cover image via Yangcheng Evening News]