SUNGAI BULOH - School toilets should be off limits to closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras even if there are parents who support the move to have these installed, said Second Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh.
Calling the measure to install cameras in the toilets distasteful, Idris said there should be other ways to address the problem of vandalism in schools.
"We don't feel good about having CCTV cameras in the toilets. It's a place where students change their clothes (and) the cameras can be misused there," Idris told reporters after inspecting the canteen at SK Seri Pristana.
The controversy surfaced last week after SMK Sri Sentosa in Jalan Kuchai Lama and SMK USJ 12 were found to have cameras installed in the toilets.
SMK Sri Sentosa has since complied with the order by the Education Ministry to remove the cameras.
SMK USJ 12, which had the cameras installed in the boys' toilets a few years ago, could not be reached for comment yesterday.
A Parent-Teacher Association member in SMK USJ 12 said installing CCTV cameras might not necessarily tackle the problem of damaged facilities in the toilets.
"Some teachers may not periodically inspect the toilets to check on the wear and tear of the facilities. The students are put to blame whenever the facilities are broken even though they may not be the culprits," said the committee member.
On the controversy involving the canteen in the shower room at SK Seri Pristana, Idris urged the parents and teachers to let by-gones be bygones and move on.
"I can see that the controversy is no longer an issue," he said.
"Extra tables and benches have been provided at the canteen to accommodate more students during recess time."