*Private schools are not following the mutually agreed upon security guidelines between the All Pakistan Private Schools Federation and government
A majority of private schools in the metropolitan are still not following the security guidelines as decided by their own federation and directed by the government to implement in letter and spirit long time ago, Pakistan Today has learnt.
The standard operation procedures (SOPs) were decided after the terrorists announced targeting educational institutions as well. It was jointly decided by private schools and the government that security measures will be ensured by all private schools.
The SOPs decided were: minimum two trained, armed security guards at the entrance of each school, 8-feet high boundary wall, fence around the outer wall, additional outer gate for emergency exit, installing walk through gates, barriers in front of school at a distance, installation of security cameras, among many others.
Reportedly, the private schools also increased their fees adding security expense. However, no such measure has been taken by a majority of schools.
“The school administration increased the fee a few years ago for security expense, but only very minor steps were taken such as putting barricades outside the school entrance. Security of our kids is the most important thing at school, even more important than the studies. Schools earn a lot, they should also earmark some money for this highly important matter. The government should rather ensure that the schools take these measures at all costs,” Sana Rauf, mother of two kids who go to a private school, said.
The Peshawar attack sent shockwaves across the country and drew condemnation from every section of society. This also raised concern among parents, private schools and even the government, which was otherwise in deep slumber regarding security.
All Pakistan Private Schools Federation President Mirza Kashif Ali said that all provincial heads of the federation have been directed to ensure security at the private schools as per SOPs decided months ago.
School Education Secretary Abdul Jabbar Shaheen said that meeting are being held regularly to develop a foolproof security strategy and ensure its implementation. “All the SOPs decided earlier will now be implemented in letter and spirit,” he said. To a question, he said, some big chains have the budget to take security measures, while many others don’t have the muscle for it.
“Now we will direct both public and private institutions to take these measures and will inspect them off and on,” Shaheen added.