It could take at least another four months or so, before schools in Antigua and Barbuda can have promised improved security via CCTV cameras.
Apart from break-ins at several learning institutions on the island, there have also been reports of school fights and other “happenings” on the school compound that teachers and the Ministry of Education say has to be addressed.
Minister responsible for Technology, Melford Nicholas told reporters on Thursday that the idea is to get all CCTV cameras immediately but the procurement of this equipment is time-consuming, and for that reason, the installation of the devices may not take place until the next school term, in January 2023.
“That is going to take a few weeks for us to be able to receive the necessary quotations and to get them approved in the procurement process and of course to be able to get the equipment in and deployed. I can give a projection that it may not be before the new term starts in January. I say that with the knowledge because of what we had to put in place with the IT platforms for secondary and now primary schools. It does take a while” Nicholas said
He said the deployment process could also take some time because of the internet systems at the various schools on the island.
“One of the things that may benefit the school system is that with the existence of the current IT platforms in the school, most of them have a fiber mesh with the requisite communication equipment and we may be able to deploy these cameras on an overlay of the equipment,” he said.
Meanwhile, Nicholas gave an update on an ongoing project to revive CCTV cameras around St John’s. He said the project is moving forward quickly and many of the cameras have been deployed and are working.
He said, lawmen, will be better able to monitor the streets to be better able to handle criminal activities.
The public surveillance monitoring system, implemented under the Baldwin Spencer administration in 2014, saw 110 CCTV cameras and sensors installed in the city of St John’s.
It was done in partnership with Digicel and, according to the Caribbean Journal, cost around $2.5 million.