Aftershocks: Capital schools’ administration told to enhance security

Published: December 18, 2014
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Schoolchildren pray for the victims at a school in Rawalpindi (top left); citizens light candles at a vigil in Kohsar Park (top right); Political activists of various parties assembled outside National Press Club (right). PHOTOS:  ZAFAR ASLAM, HUMA CHOUDHARY AND MUHAMMAD JAVAID/EXPRESS

Schoolchildren pray for the victims at a school in Rawalpindi (top left); citizens light candles at a vigil in Kohsar Park (top right); Political activists of various parties assembled outside National Press Club (right). PHOTOS: ZAFAR ASLAM, HUMA CHOUDHARY AND MUHAMMAD JAVAID/EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) at a meeting on Wednesday reviewed security measures at capital schools and colleges following the attack on the Army Public School at Peshawar.

“The FDE realised through electronic and print media that the terrorists may hit educational institutions in the capital,” an official privy to the meeting told The Express Tribune.

It was decided at the meeting that all educational institutes under the administrative control of the FDE ‘may adopt’ certain measures for the security and safety of students, staff as well as public property.

Schoolchildren pray for the victims at a school in Rawalpindi (top left); citizens light candles at a vigil in Kohsar Park (top right); Political activists of various parties assembled outside National Press Club (right). PHOTOS:  ZAFAR ASLAM, HUMA CHOUDHARY AND MUHAMMAD JAVAID/EXPRESS

Heads of the institute will be responsible for obtaining and retaining record of private transporters for picking and dropping students at their institutes.

The meeting decided that watchmen at schools where needed may be adjusted temporarily and permanently; school gates will remain closed to avoid any mishap and all the watchmen will be in proper uniform.

Among other steps, it was decided that visiting hours would strictly be observed and a visitor’s log be properly maintained. Metal detectors will be used and an information desk ‘may be’ established at the main gates to facilitate public.

FDE Director General Asif Khawaja addressed a morning assembly at Islamabad Model School for Boys in G-7/4, saying he had written a letter to the deputy commissioner requesting him to deploy Rapid Response Force nearby educational institutes for the safety and security of the students and staff.

Meeting of the FDE came in response to a letter written by Senior Superintendent of Police Asmatullah Junejo to the management of educational institutes warning them of a possible attack on school vans and students.

In the letter issued on December 16, the SSP stated that it has been learnt through reliable resources that some terrorist organisations were planning to place ‘magnetic explosive devices’ in vehicles carrying students. “In this regard, reportedly a separate team of terrorists has so far been dispatched to the Islamabad Capital Territory to carry out such activity,” he stated.

Schoolchildren pray for the victims at a school in Rawalpindi (top left); citizens light candles at a vigil in Kohsar Park (top right); Political activists of various parties assembled outside National Press Club (right). PHOTOS:  ZAFAR ASLAM, HUMA CHOUDHARY AND MUHAMMAD JAVAID/EXPRESS

Following these threats, Junejo directed management of all schools and colleges to enhance security of vehicles that carry students to and from their respective schools.

He directed that the vehicles submit their registration numbers, name of owners or drivers with their mobile phone numbers, valid driving licences and the operational area of each vehicle within three days.

The managements have also been requested to arrange mirror reflectors for checking any ‘magnetic explosive devices’ that could be placed underneath the vehicles.

Junejo further directed that physical checking of vehicles should be carried out by the security staff of the institution concerned itself and compliance should be sent to the SSP office within seven days after receiving the letter.

The SHOs are also responsible for the security of students in their areas. “The matter of safety and security of the students is of top importance,” the letter states, “It merits top priority.”

Published in The Express Tribune, December 18th, 2014.

 

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