A Critical Assessment of CCTV Utilization and Its Impact on the Security of Students in Port Harcourt



1.1       Background of the study

Every aspect of human life has been impacted by technology. The educational system has not been forgotten. Around the world, schools have consistently employed technology in many aspects of their operations (Squelch, 2001). In terms of school safety, schools have adopted modern technologies to track children and their activities in order to keep them safe, to monitor and deter outsiders who may illegally enter schools, to provide evidence in the event of criminal activity investigations in schools, to protect school property from vandalism, and to monitor staff as they perform their duties (Matthew, 2017). Closed circuit television (CCTV), fingerprint identification, RFID (radio-frequency identification) chips, and entry control devices such as remote-controlled door locks are some of the latest technologies utilized for this purpose (Matthew, 2017).

In today’s culture, CCTV is used in a variety of ways. While it can be a useful crime-prevention tool, it also has an influence on identity development and has the potential to spill over into entertainment (Norris et al., 1998). While the political debate in favor of CCTV use in schools primarily focused on exterior security, systems deployed for one reason sometimes end up serving many purposes. This isn’t to say that surveillance cameras don’t play a part in seeking to manage the behavior of ‘dangerous strangers’ on school premises; rather, it’s to argue that there has been a ‘function creep’ of this technology, in which schools are using these systems in new ways. A framework for analyzing the actual implementation of such technology in schools will now be addressed, taking into account these difficulties and building on Muller and Boos’ (2004) typology of public CCTV systems. As a result, Muller proposes a number of applications for CCTV, including flow control, accounting, archiving, and commodification. The following discussion will focus on access control, conduct control, and the collecting of evidence that might improve school safety.

Safety is an important part of human existence that serves to limit hazards in any given circumstance, according to the Republic of Kenya’s (2008) School Safety Manual. Safety is an inherent and necessary part of the teaching and learning process in schools. However, safety can only be ensured if the educational system is equipped in some way. Learners may only receive a high-quality education if the school environment is conducive to learning and safe. A safe school, according to Shephard (1999), is a child-friendly school. A child-friendly school provides a physically safe, emotionally comfortable, and mentally supportive environment for all students. The support, engagement, and collaboration that a school receives from families is strongly related to its capacity to be and call itself kid friendly. Staff members are kind and accommodating to the children, and they respond to all of their health and safety concerns. Child-friendly schools strive to create a learning atmosphere in which children are motivated and able to learn. UNICEF (UNICEF, 2009). One of the most important aspects influencing the implementation of a child-friendly school is school safety. According to Squelch (2001), safe physical facilities play a critical role in the realization of a child-friendly school by meeting physical and emotional demands.

1.2       Statement of the problem

Secondary schools in Nigeria have had to deal with a number of issues relating to school safety. The security challenges that have bedeviled the country in the Northern and South Eastern regions are the driving force behind this. Kidnapping and abduction of school children, as well as a weaker security system, have resulted in the deaths of school students who were slain due to an inability to pay a ransom, while others were held hostage for a period of time without the perpetrators of these crimes being identified.

According to Fisher, Higgins, and Homer (2019), such incidents influence schoolchildren, resulting in a lack of attention, excessive absenteeism, and higher dropout rates, preventing students from reaching their full educational potential. It is a problem that affects all parents and guardians, kids, educators, instructors, state police, taxpayers, and employees, necessitating the installation of security cameras in schools. School surveillance cameras have become one of the most widely used tools for combating school crime and violence. Biometric identification, radio frequency identification tags, and metal detectors were among the first surveillance technologies adopted in schools, and they are currently being followed by biometric identification, radio frequency identification tags, and metal detectors. External security risks are the most common official reason for the usage of school CCTVs (Hope, 2009; Perry-Hazan & Birnhack, 2016). However, CCTVs deployed for security purposes are frequently utilized to monitor and investigate minor disciplinary offenses by kids as well as instructor conduct (Perry-Hazan & Birnhack, 2019). CCTV has multiple potential uses for student safety, and it has been used with the goals of preventing crime, discovering offenses, enhancing emergency response, aiding in the administration of the school environment, and lowering fear of crime within the premises, among other things. Although there is a smattering of material on the impact of CCTV as a social control tool, none has focused on how it affects student safety, particularly in secondary schools. It is on this note that this study seeks to examine CCTV utilization and its impact on the security of students in Port Harcourt.

1.3       Objective of the study

The broad objective of this study is to present a critical assessment of CCTV utilization and its impact on the security of students in Port Harcourt.

Specifically the study seeks:

  1. To examine the if  CCTV utilization plays a  surveillance role on social control of  learner’s behavior within school premises.
  2. To establish the perception if CCTV surveillance technology enhances student safety in Port Harcourt.

3.To find out the challenges faced in implementing CCTV surveillance technology for school safety in Port Harcourt.

1.4       Research Hypotheses

HO1: CCTV utilization in schools does not enhance social control within school premises

HO2: CCTV surveillance technology is not capable of impacting the security of student in Port Harcourt.

1.5       Significance of the study

Findings from this study will be relevant to school administrators, government, learners and academia.  The study may help the school administrators and staff in finding ways of containing learners. The CCTV system will decrease incidences such as vandalism and theft, as it is now easy to identify the perpetrators. information obtained from this study may be useful to the school administrators as an evaluation of the implementation of the safety standards manual from the Ministry of Education, which requires schools to use the modern technologies to ensure schools are safe and child friendly. The study findings may be used to sensitize the school communities and make them realize the need to invest in safety programs in schools especially the modern technology. Finally, the study would contribute empirically to the body of existing literature and it would serve as a reference source to students or other researchers who might want to carry out their research on the similar topic.

1.6       Scope of the study

The scope of this study borders on an assessment of CCTV utilization and its impact on the security of students in Port Harcourt. It will examine if CCTV utilization plays a  surveillance role on social control of  learner’s behavior within school premises. It will establish the perception if CCTV surveillance technology enhances student safety in Port Harcourt. it will find out the challenges faced in implementing CCTV surveillance technology for school safety in Port Harcourt.

1.7 Limitation of the study

Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. The significant constraint was the scanty literature on the subject owing to the nature of the discourse thus the researcher incurred more financial expenses and much time was required in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. Additionally, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. More so, the choice of the sample size was limited  as few respondent were selected to answer the research instrument hence cannot be generalize to other corporate organizations. However, despite the constraint  encountered during the  research, all factors were downplayed in other to give the best and make the research successful.

1.8       Definition of terms

CCTV: Refers to electronic monitoring systems which makes use of video cameras, connected by means of a ‘closed’ (or non-broadcast) circuit, to capture, collect, record, and/or relay visual information about the event-status of a given space over time. It comprises of cameras, recorders and displays for monitoring activities.

Surveillance Technology: This is the technology used in observation of persons, vehicles, or activity taking place in an institution such as a school for the purposes of obtaining information regarding the activities and identities of the persons.

Surveillance camera:  A mounted video camera used for purposes of surveillance, as part of closed-circuit television.

School safety: School Safety” has been defined as creating safe environment for children, starting from their homes to their schools and back.

Safe School: It is a school in which students are sheltered from violence and bullying, as well as exposure to harmful elements such as drugs and gang activity.




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