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Letters | Hong Kong should be wary of proposal to install security cameras in schools

Updated: Jun 14, 2023

I refer to the discussion on installing security cameras in classrooms for crime prevention in Hong Kong schools.

As a nonprofit organisation dedicated to transforming the communication culture in schools and families, we stress the importance of considering and balancing the needs of all stakeholders, particularly in understanding “safety” beyond physical safety to include psychological safety.

I appreciate the concerns raised by lawmakers Tang Fei and Chu Kwok-keung regarding the potential negative impact of installing security cameras on teachers and students. Emotional well-being plays a vital role in the learning environment.

Hong Kong schools already face many challenges, such as high teacher turnover rates, students leaving due to emigration, and the risk of school closures due to low birth rates. Installing security cameras without a reasonable balance between security and privacy may add extra stress on teachers.

The Education Bureau’s “Values Education Curriculum Framework” includes empathy and respect for others as important values to be taught in schools. Creating safe and supportive environments will nurture these values.

I urge schools, policymakers and the relevant authorities to consider the multifaceted challenges faced by Hong Kong educators. Any decisions regarding security measures like the installation of CCTV cameras must be made with empathy and understanding, taking into account the psychological well-being of all individuals involved.

Raymond Yang Sze-ngai, co-founder and executive director, Just Feel

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