This paper holds that schools must prepare learners for the emergent “surveillance society”. However, this cannot happen by schools simply taking pupils through the routine of biometric systems installed at the schools. Rather, schools must critically engage learners on the various surveillance technologies available in the bigger world, the rationale behind them and their implications.
Besides biometric surveillance, schools are using other forms of surveillance, notably CCTV surveillance. The theory underpinning the effectiveness of public surveillance systems, including biometrics and CCTV, is that if potential offenders know that they are being monitored, they will keep off committing an offence or a crime(Webster , 1995). This assumption is in line with the rational choice theory, which states that potential offenders make deliberate, well-thought decisions to commit an offense or a crime after they have carefully assessed the possible costs and benefits associated with the crime(La Vigne, et al., 2011). Applying the theory of rational choice, one would expect that a potential offender or criminal who becomes aware that they are being monitored by a CCTV camera, for example, would refrain. Conspicuous camera systems complement this view by placing cameras such that they are in the full view of the public. In addition, the cameras are accompanied by signage that warns members of the public that they are being monitored. This way, cameras and other public surveillance systems reduce crime. They also reduce the psychological impact of crime by encouraging members of public to frequent places they did not often visit for fear of insecurity.
As a tool for social sorting, surveillance encourages social inequalities by identifying and differentiating people(Monahan, 2011). Biometric surveillance, in particular, can be used to grant access to certain people while denying others the same. As noted