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Saigon Schools to Install CCTV Cameras to Combat Child Abuse

About 315 cameras will be placed in local kindergartens in response to concerns that teachers are abusing students.

The program, which comes at a cost of VND3.2 billion (US$137,000), was announced last week at a meeting of the HCMC People's Committee. Cameras will be placed in classrooms, sleeping areas, dining rooms, kitchens, playgrounds, hallways, parking lots and the entrance gates of schools in Districts 1, 12 and Hoc Mon. 

The move coincides with new regulations regarding equipment and facilities at schools catering to young children and is a reaction to several high-profile incidents of teachers abusing children. Earlier this year, for example, two women were accused of abusing 20 students at a private kindergarten. The reported accounts of violence include hitting, slapping and throwing items including knives at children, which have aroused concern from parents.

Around 88% of polled parents supported the camera system while just 48% of teachers were in favor of it. The educators expressed fears that the videos would contain material that parents would misinterpret. They are worried that the videos will lead to overly frequent calls to the schools by parents. 

Two thousand children in Vietnam suffer serious abuse that requires special help and intervention every year. While reports and video evidence of teacher misconduct have become increasingly common in the city, few people are actually punished for the crimes. The video program comes on the heels of an updated hotline number for reporting abuse cases.

[Photo via Tieu Dung Plus]

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