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Kolhan third eye on truant teachers

Truant teachers at constituent colleges of Kolhan University will do better to mend their ways. Very soon, the vice chancellor himself will monitor their attendance from his Chaibasa office.

To ensure regular classes, the varsity is planning to install CCTV cameras at every classroom of its 14 constituent colleges. The footage will be aired through Internet at vice chancellor R.P.P. Singh’s office.

Singh, who was in the steel city, to inaugurate the NCC annual combined training camp at Jamshedpur Co-operative College on Tuesday, said the surveillance had been prompted by routine complaints against missing teachers.

“We have been hearing grievances of several institutions, especially Jamshedpur Co-operative College, for a long time. This system will help me check attendance in classes while sitting at my office in Chaibasa,” he said.

Singh added that a private agency had already started a survey at colleges to prepare a camera installation plan.

The vice-chancellor did not disclose the budget that the varsity has set aside for the project. He added that he had prepared a “cost-benefit analysis and the CCTV network would be a long-term investment with good returns”.

For the time being, Singh has asked principals to maintain class rosters.

“I have directed principals to keep a routine of classes of all subjects on his table. This apart, time, date and duration of the classes should be noted. This is a temporary solution. We intend to get cameras fixed before the new session starts in July,” Singh said.

Teachers have mixed reactions to the CCTV plan.

“Being asked to lecture while someone is watching is like questioning credibility. But then, the move is the fallout of decades of irresponsible behaviour,” said K.K. Sharma who teaches zoology at Jamshedpur Co-operative College.

Students feel the third eye would bring them under the scanner. “Once the cameras are in place, the varsity will know which student is bunking,” said Sujata Karmakar of Jamshedpur Workers’ College.

Unlike Kolhan, Ranchi Un       iversity does not have any immediate plan of introducing a surveillance system to contain truancy. “Installing cameras is simple. What is difficult is maintaining them. We had cameras at our evaluation centre. Half were damaged deliberately,” said pro-vice chancellor M. Raziuddin.