Are you the kind of parent who is afraid to let your kids leave your sight for even a minute? Are you worried about how your little ones are doing in school? Do you want to know literally every single little thing about them?
Well then, have we got just the school for your child’s education!
A Liaoning father recently raised a ruckus on Chinese social media by posting about how his son’s primary school had decided to place surveillance cameras inside all classrooms so that parents could look in on how well their child was doing at school.
“Last week, my son’s school charged me 100 yuan and gave me a log-in password,” the father, A’tai, wrote on Weibo on September 25th in a post that has since been deleted. “Today I downloaded the app on my phone and was able to log on to the surveillance camera inside his classroom.”
The father described the experience as “terrifying,” however, his son had told him that, in fact, he was actually the last parent in his entire grade to pay the fee. In a WeChat group of parents, most strongly supported the cameras and A’tai’s son warned his father that if he did not hurry and sign up for the program then he would be treated differently in class.
Last week, the father’s posts went viral on Weibo with many netizens accusing the school of flagrantly violating the students’ right to privacy and treating them like prisoners. One Weibo user couldn’t help but draw comparisons to The Truman Show, writing that “Truman’s final choice should be our choice as well.”
In an online poll of parents, 60 percent disagreed with the school’s use of surveillance cameras, while one-third liked the idea, believing that it was a good way to keep an eye on teachers, as well as their children.
This school is far from the first to experiment with cameras in the classroom. In April, the New York Times reported that thousands of private and public schools across the country had started to live-stream footage straight from classroom on popular live-streaming sites.
The school’s apparent logic was not only to provide a window for parents into their child’s education, but to “crowdsource” the process of catching misbehaving children as millions of netizens from across the country gleefully watched online and left mean comments about daydreaming students that they had spotted slacking off underneath the video.
An article in the influential Beijing News criticizing this new form of live-streaming helped to shut some of the cameras down, but many of the streams remain in place.
While this whole thing may seem incredibly creepy, at least being kept under constant surveillance in the classroom will help these kids better adjust to life after graduation.
By Máté Mohos
[Images via Beijing News]
Follow Shanghaiist on WeChat