LAHORE: The Punjab government has decided to hire more than 4,000 guards for deployment at public schools in urban areas across the province after insistent demands of students’ parents.
The finance department has already approved the creation of 4,120 new posts in the BSP-1 scale on the proposal of the Punjab School Education Department (SED), according to a Punjab Finance Department notification.
The department concurred to the creation of 4,120 posts of school guards through ‘schedule of new expenditure’ (SNE) for B-category schools, which are defined as schools in urban areas having 200 or more students.
The appointment of guards will help enhance the security of schools on the condition that the respective district governments would bear their expenditures on their own, the finance department notification stated. This means the salary of the guards would be paid by the district governments of each district via the newly established district education authorities.
Hiring security guards and boosting security arrangements at public schools has been a longstanding demand of government schoolteachers as well as parents since the horrific Peshawar school attack on December 16, 2014.
On several occasions, teachers’ associations have expressed disappointment at the security measures taken for public schools in the province. The problem, according to the teachers, are more visible in public schools in other categories than the A-category schools, which are defined as those situated in urban areas with at least 400 students enrolled.
According to the finance department notification, Attock will get 110 security guards, Bahawalnagar 200, Bahawalpur 130, Bhakkar 60, Chakwal 50, Chiniot 70, Dera Ghazi Khan 80, Faisalabad 400, Gujranwala 150, Gujrat 80, Hafizabad 80, Jhang 50, Jhelum 40, Kasur 70, Khanewal 80, Khushab 60, Lahore 642, Layyah 80, Lodhran 40, Mandi Bahauddin 60, Mianwali 40, Multan 130, Muzaffargarh 120, Nankana Sahib 60, Narowal 65, Okara 80, Pakpattan 30, Rahim Yar Khan 160, Rajanpur 110, Rawalpindi 160, Sahiwal 80, Sargodha 128, Sialkot 110, Toba Tek Singh 70, Vehari 120 while will get Sheikhupura 125 security guards.
While the appointment of guards is a huge step, the total number of schools in Punjab is way higher.
The province is home to about 50,397 public schools.
According to the notification, 110 security guards will be deployed at schools in the Attock district, which has a total of 1,258 schools. Similarly, Bahawalnagar has 2,201 schools while the district will get 200 guards.
To boot, Bahawalpur houses 1,784 public schools, Bhakkar 1,300, Chakwal 1,141, Chiniot 676, D G Khan 1,661, Faisalabad 2,267, Gujranwala 1,552, Gujrat 1,454, Hafizabad 798, Jhang 1,504, Jhelum 837, Kasur 1,438, Khanewal 1,268, Khushab 977, Lahore 1,146, Layyah 1,541, Lodhran 781, Mandi Bahauddin 800, Mianwali 1,282, Multan 1,331, Muzaffargarh 2,090, Nankana Sahib 790, Narowal 1,196, Okara 1,509, Pakpattan 882, Rahim Yar Khan 2,930, Rajanpur 1,160, Rawalpindi 1,854, Sahiwal 1,183, Sargodha 1,953, Sialkot 1,955, Toba Tek Singh 1,207, Vehari 1,434 while Sheikhupura is home to 1,257 schools.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 10th, 2017.
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