PESHAWAR: All Primary Teachers Association (APTA) has asked the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government to take serious steps for the security of government primary schools across the province.
Following the attack on Army Public School (APS) on December 16 which claimed 150 lives, mostly of children, the government has directed the administrations of all the government and private educational institutes to enhance their security. The government has also issued guidelines for higher educational institutions.
However, APTA President Malik Khalid Khan told The Express Tribune the government has ignored public schools, only directing owners of private schools to enhance their security. He said most government schools not only in Peshawar but other districts as well are located along the roads, without any security to protect students and staffers.
Just like owners of private schools have been asked to enhance security, principals and headmasters of government schools too should be directed to do the same, said Khalid.
He said CCTV cameras should be installed at all public schools, adding if the government cannot send security forces to each school then it should assign the task to Class-IV employees since every government school has two to five Class-IV employees. “At least one among them should be tasked for security at the gates of schools.”
Khalid also asked the government to train the Class-IV employees and provide them with arms to help them carry out the task effectively. He said schools should not be left unattended at night and additional employees should be hired for keeping watch during late hours. Contending the claim, Peshawar District Education Officer Samina Ghani said that after the APS attack they have directed principals and head mistresses of girls schools to check identity cards of each student entering the premises.
In some places, the administration has also been asked to increase the height of the school’s boundary walls and cover them with barbed wire.
K-P Elementary and Secondary Education Department Deputy Director Abdul Shakoor Khan said heads of schools from every district will be summoned for a meeting after the winter vacations during which they will be guided on the new security plan for schools.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 28th, 2014.