The majority of schools in Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) are vulnerable to natural disasters due to negligence in site selection, design deficiencies and usage of substandard materials.
This was said by experts during a session on school safety strategy held by G-B Directorate of Education and Focus Humanitarian Assistance Pakistan - an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network on Tuesday.
School Safety Programme Coordinator Zulfiqar Ali said that the safety strategy gave a comprehensive analysis on current safety status of schools in all seven districts of the region and recommends short-term and long-term solutions to ensure greater safety of schools located in the hazard-prone mountainous region. He added that the lawmakers should pass legislation on the issue and give legal status to the strategy after necessary review and consultations.
Disaster Risk Reduction Manager Salman Shah said that the school safety strategy proposes updating and enriching the school curriculum, adding that regular trainings for school community will have far-reaching implications in safety of schools in G-B.
The participants said May 16 should be marked as the Annual School Safety Day.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 27th, 2011.