Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government is taking criminal action against 70 schools that have failed to tighten security with measures such as installing barbed wire following the Army Public School attack that killed 132 children.
The government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa made it compulsory for all schools to hire armed guards, raise the height of boundary walls with barbed wire and install closed-circuit television.
On December 16, Taliban gunmen stormed into a school in Peshawar killing 153 people, including 132 children.
The 70 schools taken to task are in Kohat, south of Peshawar, which Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Education Minister Mohammad Atif Khan described as “dangerous”.
Atif told officials to hold meetings with school officials before taking action, he said.
“We extended the deadline several times to enable the owners and principals to make security arrangements, but finally we decided to take action in those areas whose security risk level is very high, such as Kohat,” the minister said.
The province enforced the security measures even though the school targeted on December 16 also had CCTV and security guards, which did not help stop the bloodshed.
When asked if the cost of the measures might be a reason for non-compliance, Atif said anyone who ran a school had the responsibility to protect the children.
“It seems as though I have a shop selling CCTV cameras and am pressuring school owners to buy them,” he said.
“I have no personal interest in asking them to hire security guards and install CCTV cameras, but will never allow someone to jeopardise the safety of the children.”