Police have launched a ‘security audit’ for schools and colleges of Peshawar district wherein a form with 23 questions is given to each institute to obtain vital information.
The principal of a local private school told The Express Tribune policemen from different stations are visiting schools and collecting data. “They give you a form which is called School/College Security Audit. You are required to provide the name of the institute, principal’s name, contact number, number of male and female students, name of your security officer and even details of parent-teacher associations, if any,” he said, adding that in addition to this, there are 23 questions which need to be answered in the form. The principal feared police will eventually ask schools to make certain security arrangements in order to obtain a no-objection certificate (NOC) to keep their institutes open.
“These questions pertain to entry/exit points; presence of three barriers at entry points; is there a dropdown barrier at the main gate or not; are there observation points at important positions; do you have CCTV camera at the front, back, left, right walls; number of guards at the main gate; condition of weapons; experience of guards to use these weapons,” said the principal while sharing the questionnaire’s content. He maintained some of the mentioned security measures were very important but others were worrisome for the administration.
“There are questions about whether your institute has sniffer dogs, walkthrough gates, metal detectors, search lights, etc,” he said, claiming it was not possible for all schools to arrange sniffer dogs or buy walkthrough gates. The principal said these were expensive accessories for small and medium schools and contended the dropdown barrier was also unnecessary.
“We are really worried about the security situation these days and even more worried are parents, but security arrangements will cost extra money, which will be an additional burden for small and medium schools along with the parents.”
Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Ijaz Khan said there are 2,027 schools registered with the Peshawar Board alone. Besides these, there are institutes operating under the technical education board and the federal government, among others. He said the data collected from schools was for assessment purposes.
“We have made four rapid response force (RRF) teams for the district. These will act in the event of an emergency and we will provide police guards to those schools located in a cluster. But others will have to make their own security arrangements,” said CCPO Khan. “We are asking them (schools) to maintain registers for guests, install CCTV cameras and carry out security drills. In the event of an emergency, they also have an SOS system to alert the police.”
Published in The Express Tribune, January 4th, 2015.