By Sandesh Kaup, Country Manager, Milestone Systems, India and SAARC
The pandemic irrevocably transformed how people undertake their daily routines. The nationwide lockdown measures have greatly disrupted the education system in India, especially since the country’s education system is dominated by classroom study.
All educational activities like examinations, school admissions, entrance tests of various universities and competitive examinations were called off. This left education administrators scrambling to revamp the entire system including- learning methodology, teaching techniques and assessment methodologies.
Now that educational institutions across the country are once again opening their doors to students, albeit in a decentralized and phased manner, ensuring the safety of the students and staff is the top priority. Currently, over 52 per cent of India’s population has received both doses of the vaccine. This does not include children of school-age, which makes it even more necessary to for educational institutions to fortify their campuses to mitigate exposure to the virus.
Technology has been a part of the education landscape for a while now, with many institutions acclimated to using technology to protect the children and staff. The recent years have seen a widespread usage of artificial intelligence to predict violent behaviour, bullying, suicide, and other critical issues.
Now many administrators are choosing to boost school safety with smart video technology systems that bolster its existing security and help implement Covid-19 safety protocols. Given the new reforms across colleges and educational institutions in the light of the pandemic such as social distancing, occupancy limitations, mandatory wearing of masks etc., an intelligent Video Management Software (VMS) solution can help schools buttress existing security infrastructure.
Smart Solutions for a Smarter System
An Intelligent VMS solution can recognize suspicious behavior, flag unwanted persons, identify unsafe objects, elevated temperatures or send alerts when there is over-crowding at any location. It is equipped with smart decision-making capabilities that can alert the relevant parties with a live video of the person, object, or an incident. An intelligent VMS solution ensures that unsafe and dangerous situations are identified and corrected in time, therefore improving emergency preparedness.
An open platform enables the integration of video applications and other devices needed for returning to school. It helps in temperature detection, social distancing detection, touchless access control, ensuring everyone has their masks on, and tracking technologies. IoT devices can play a major role in classroom education and security. The data gleaned from these devices can be utilized as the most accurate contact tracing solution if a student or educator tests positive for COVID-19. Students and teachers can benefit from connected devices making it an all-encompassing health and security solution for educational campuses.
Boosting School Safety
Despite all mandatory precautions such as wearing of masks, hand sanitizing, and social distancing requirements, contracting an infection at these institutions remains a high probability. However, a smart video technology’s AI-based analytics can track and identify students who are violating mask and social distancing protocols and issues alerts in case of such violations.
These systems can also be utilized to keep count of the number of students coming in and out of buildings or track large gatherings and issue alerts if the capacity exceeds pre-set limits. This is a huge help for any school wishing to limit occupancy inside campus buildings, classrooms, and various outdoor gatherings.
Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning integrated systems can project real-time activity integrated seamlessly with video cameras for visual support of access. There is more tech available in the market such as infrared-spectrum thermal cameras with edge-based analytics that can detect elevated body temperature, thus making health screening at educational institutions completely contactless. Educational institutions stand to benefit from the layered protection these technologies offer as it allows them to strategize and prioritize risky and emergency situations.
It is imperative for educational administrators to have easy access to all video surveillance, whether they are present on-site or elsewhere. An intelligent VMS solution provides them the necessary infrastructure to view their recordings securely from any remote location. This can help them quickly and easily monitor large campuses from their smartphone or tablet, ensuring incidents can be resolved with immediate effect, regardless of their location.
More advanced capabilities — including people and vehicle analytics — that can offer even deeper insight into areas in and around the campus are being utilized. By knowing how many cars or people are in any one place, you can gain a high-level and real-time understanding of protocol compliance.
An intelligent VMS solution offers them the ability to easily and rapidly search, retrieve, and share archived video recordings and ensures zero loss of data, including protection against local disasters and technical issues.
Using Technology Responsibly
The fast-changing pandemic has highlighted the importance of actionable insights to the growth and prosperity of any institution. When deploying measures such as a highly invasive video surveillance system within an educational institution, there will be greater scrutiny on concerns over data and privacy.
The onus lies on educational institutions to explain all new measures involving such technology to parents and the board upfront. Students, parents, and staff must be informed how technology is being used, where, and – most importantly – why. Having the knowledge that their school takes their safety seriously; students and staff can focus on getting back on track and focus on their education without stress.
Advanced, affordable, and versatile video technology solutions can aid educational leaders in improving security, efficiency, and streamlining operations, benefitting all concerned. Now more than ever, schools need help to monitor daily activities within the premises and deploying smart VMS solutions is the security roadmap that could truly make a difference as schools seek to reopen safely and securely.