Mehrinisso loves teaching, but finds the closed-circuit surveillance cameras in her classroom unsettling. “It is annoying and disturbing to be watched by somebody all day long,” said the elementary-school teacher in Tajikistan’s capital, Dushanbe.
“District education department inspectors can come to the school principle and ask to see any video—live or recorded. Nobody warns you that your lesson will be watched. Of course, we must be prepared for our lessons, but there is something wrong with this,” the teacher added.
Education officials say the cameras are designed to put an end to petty crime that is rife in Dushanbe’s schools. They don’t help, though, because the quality of the surveillance cameras installed two years ago is poor, says Mehrinisso. Instead, she and other teachers feel they are constantly being spied on.
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Konstantin Parshin is a freelance writer based in Tajikistan.