Every day thousands of parents all over the country drop their kids off at school and wait anxiously for their little ones to come back later in the afternoon. Adding to their paranoia, are the tabloid headlines. A class X student from a Noida school was slapped by his classmate and subsequently lost his hearing. Another 15-year-old, in Tamil Nadu, teased and bullied by his fellow classmates, decided to hang himself. Last year’s incident about a 7-year old’s brutal murder in a school, still rings loud in every parents’ ears. These are not isolated incidents rather newspapers are filled with such stories. Another worry that constantly disturbs parents is ragging and bullying. Although UGC goes to great lengths to ban ragging from all schools and colleges, statistics show a saddening trend. A total of 917 cases were registered in 2017 compared to 515 the previous year. However, these don’t include the countless cases that go unreported. A child might not always report when he is facing a tough time in school.
This raises the question- are kids safe in school and if not, what can we do to make them safer?
Aditya Mishra from ShepHertz Technologies believes that the need of the hour is an intelligent system that monitors all the cameras and can send automatic alerts. Artiftificial intelligence powered face recognition software could not only detect dangerous objects like knives but could also detect missing students in the class. Also, by using emotion detection and AI, the software could detect cases of fighting or bullying and stop such issues before they escalate. Facial recognition protects the campus by monitoring students and keeping tabs on potential miscreants. Students who indulge in bullying or fighting can be placed on a blacklist and monitored more closely. All these measures should be extended beyond the school premises to the school bus. It is pivotal that students are safe while they commute to and fro from school.
This system can also detect different emotions and can have a wide range of application in the smart surveillance domain. Not only can it safeguard students from any mishaps but will also assist them in academics. In situations where students are found missing during the class time, the system can search for them by their faces and track the students. This way schools can reduce bunking or students loitering around during class hours.
In exams, facial recognition can detect students who are involved in malpractices or cheating activities. During regular lectures, through emotion detection, we can find out whether the students are being attentive. It could be used to find how attentive the students are. Chances are that if a student is attentive less than 5-10 per cent of the time, he could be facing some difficulties possibly depression or some learning disorder. If caught early, these ailments can be treated more effectively.
This can also serve as a one-time solution for access control and attendance for students, teachers, and staff in schools. It will provide a weekly report with a list of students, teachers, and staff who have been missing or have been late. Apart from this, it can authenticate authorised users and generate an auto alert to the essential personnel when an unauthorised person wants to get access. This could be used to secure areas where exam papers are kept and plug paper leaks.
When it comes to the safety and security of children, every second counts. Bone-chilling incidents like murders inside school premises highlight the inadequacy of current human-based solution. Face recognition is, therefore, the final piece in the school security and surveillance puzzle. It conforms to the government’s 117-point agenda for school safety which mandates CCTV cameras and detailed records of all visitors. Thus, it is only a matter of time before face recognition becomes mainstream. ShepHertz with its expertise in technologies like machine learning and AI aims to be at the forefront of this change. Incorporating these technologies, we can make schools safer and a place where kids are excited to go. It can give parents peace of mind and make that six hours wait for their children coming back home, a little less stressful.