University denies cameras are meant for spying on lecturers

The University of Namibia’s management says the envisaged camera installation on some of its campuses is meant to enhance security at the university and not to spy on staff or students, writes Edward Mumbuu for New Era Live. This response follows concerns of infringement on academic freedom through surveillance in lecture halls and a lack of consultation by the university.

Lecturer Job Amupanda said the installation exercise was not explained to them, and that he deems it as an infringement on their academic freedom. “We are concerned about the impact and-or the implication of the above securitisation on the constitutionally guaranteed academic freedom – the freedom to teach, practise, research, inquire and communicate thoughts and outcomes unhindered and without interference,” he said in a letter to the institution’s academic affairs pro vice-chancellor, Frednard Gideon.

University spokesperson Simon Namesho said they have indeed embarked on a security enhancement project – and as of now, no CCTV cameras have been installed in lecture or examination halls. “Our current focus has been on fortifying the perimeters and critical entry points of the main campus with high-tech security systems,” he said in response to detailed questions by this publication.
Full report on the New Era Live site