The Abu Dhabi Education Council, ADEC, has launched a CCTV Audit across all private schools in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in aims to protect and safeguard students.
Each school has been asked to design and implement a complete Digital Security Surveillance System in and around its buildings as per required specifications.
Schools were given until end of August 2013 to install the CCTV cameras in specified locations across the school. ADEC has contracted a 3rd party private company specialised in the field to inspect all private schools and check alignment with the CCTV requirements. Schools have been notified that a third party inspection team will be visiting them starting January 6th 2013.
Hamad Al Dhaheri, ADEC's Private Schools and Quality Assurance Executive Director, stressed the importance of health and safety measures across schools. "Installing the proper CCTV cameras in private schools comes in line with ADEC's mission to help safeguard students, teachers and the school community as a whole. It is vital that schools comply with all the standards related to maintaining and monitoring the device, which will in return greatly reduce the number of accidents/unfortunate incidents that accrue across some schools." This move was taken by ADEC's Private Schools and Quality Assurance (PSQA) Sector, as per Article 5 on Students Protection and Article 69 on Health, Safety and Environment in the PSQA regulation handbook.
Some of the content in Article 5 states that "The school and its principal shall always guarantee student's rights not to be subject to exploitation, violence, physical harm, sexual abuse, any verbal insult, moral threat or harm of any kind. The school must publish and implement a policy that aims to protect students from any form of these abuses. In the case of any violations of the student protection policy, the principal must inform the Council immediately and submit a written report within 24 hours of the occurrence or suspected occurrence of any such violation." According to Health, Safety and Environment regulations under Article 69, a shared responsibility among the School Principal, its Board of Governance or Trustees and School owner to maintain a healthy, safe and risk free environment throughout the school is vital, taking into account aspects of public health, including the areas where students, employees and visitors use to climb up and down.
Schools are also expected to be equipped with integrated and effective protection systems, fixed and mobile, for fire protection and detection, including fire sensors and detectors, fire extinguishers, water systems, pumps, taps, hoses, nozzles and sprayers to extinguish fires provided that they fully meet the specifications laid down by the Civil Defence Department. The school must obtain the necessary valid licenses and maintain inspection records and notifications on these systems and tools/ devices.
ADEC submitted written guidelines and specifications about the IP Surveillance System - CCTV Guidelines to private schools and education institutes across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in order to help specify security guidelines, technical requirements as per Abu Dhabi Monitoring and Control Centre Specifications and Scope of Services for IP Surveillance Cameras.
"During school visits, a big part of the inspection process will focus on whether schools have abided by the specified CCTV location details and surveillance requirements," explained Al Dhaheri.
As per the CCTV guidelines, cameras are required to be located in student pick up and drop off areas, landscape, main entrance and lobby (main entrance, reception lobbies, cashier), other building access points (access points to all school buildings), elevator lobbies, circulation corridor on all floors, emergency exits on all school buildings where entry and exit from building is possible, staircase on all floors, canteen (all canteen entries, kitchen entry/exists, canteen dining area, food delivery and storage areas); Science and computer labs, auditoriums/play areas/sports hall/swimming pool/ exam halls; entrances to janitor room/wash rooms, changing rooms and stores; inside and outside school buses and any other location which will not interfere with the children's and staff's privacy.