Private schools have asked the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government to dole out funds to help the former meet required security standards set by the government itself.
Council of National Education K-P Chairman Nazar Hussain said the government has handed schools with a list of 24 items to install at their campuses or face cancellation of NOCs.
“Funds were only provided to government schools while private schools were asked to afford the expenses from their own kitty,” he said. He added 40 FIRs have been lodged so far against owners of private schools for failing to beef up security at par with the set standards.
The chairman of private schools’ representative body in K-P said despite receiving funds, most government schools have not made the required arrangements and the discriminatory treatment is condemnable. “We cannot arrange for such detailed foolproof arrangements from our own pocket,” he maintained. Hussain urged the government to retract all cases lodged against private school administrations across the province.
The new security guidelines were devised following the December 16, 2014 Army Public School attack that left over 140 students and several members of staff dead. These include the installation of CCTV cameras, walk-through gates and the arrangement of sniffer dogs at campus entrances amongst other requirements.
In a bid to meet the guidelines and avoid cancellation of licences, several private schools credited the financial burden to fee vouchers, charging an extra Rs1,500 per student.
“We can only refund the extra charges if the government provides at least Rs100,000 to every school,” said a school owner, adding the government itself was on a tight budget earlier, but the law and order situation forced it to divert funds towards securing educational institutions.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 3rd, 2015.