DERA GHAZI KHAN: As many as 1,500 private and public schools in Dera Ghazi Khan will remain closed on Monday (today) after being advised by the government not to reopen until security at the campus has been improved, said All Pakistan Private Schools Association Vice President Ziaul Islam.
He said that prices of security equipment had increased since the government issued guidelines for schools security.
Addressing a press conference, he urged the government to set up price control committees to monitor prices of security equipment for schools.
He was accompanied by APPSA district president Ghulam Rasool Hajjana and secretary Abdul Karim Malik.
“If schools cannot afford to purchase essential equipment, how can they meet the security checklist?” he said.
He said those selling CCTV cameras and walkthrough gates had told administrations of hundreds of schools that equipment had run short.
He said they were also unwilling to negotiate prices. “It is tragic that some people are profiteering off peoples’ fear,” he said.
He urged the chief minister and the district coordination officer to take notice of the situation and take steps to address these grievances.
“We have been advised to not reopen schools until the government is satisfied with the security arrangements,” he said. “Now that equipment has run short and what little that is available is being sold for exorbitant prices, we have been forced to defer reopening,” he added.
He said ensuring availability of security monitoring equipment was the responsibility of the government.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 12th, 2015.