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Peshawar

January 9, 2015

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Private schools in trouble to meet all security instructions

PESHAWAR: The private schools’ managements have found it hard to meet all the security instructions of the government and have urged the government to lend them a helping hand so that they could maintain the educational activities in a smooth manner without putting financial burden on the parents.
The government wants the private schools to employ at least four security guards in the schools and two each in the school-buses, equip guards with sophisticated weapons, install walk-through-gates, arrange metal detectors, raise the height of walls, fix barbed-wire on the walls and take other measures.
The private schools on the other hands want some concessions from the government.According to Khwaja Yawar Naseer, president, Private Educational Institutions Management Association, they have agreed to raise the height of boundary walls, introduce metal detectors, fix razor-wires on the walls, ban entry of unnecessary people into the school premises, maintain the routine 3-4 security guards, which they already have.
He said that during their recent meeting with the commissioner of Peshawar, they made it clear that they could not increase the number of security guards, buy latest weapons for them and arrange walk-through-gates.
Khwaja Yawar Naseer said the employment of more security guards would cost them at least Rs120,000 per month. Similarly, the walk-through-gates can be installed at around 0.4-0.5 million rupees and the guns too are very expensive.
“What we demanded of the commissioner was to allow us with 3-4 guards, exempt us from the walk-through-gates and provide us guns from government’s store, which would be returned on restoration of normalcy,” he added. The commissioner was of the opinion that guns could not be given to them, however weapon licences could be issued to them, he added.
He said that if the government fails to accept their demands, they would be forced to raise fee and shift the burden to parents. He said that they

could not raise the fee abruptly by Rs600-700 in the name of security. Therefore, the government should consider their genuine request, he added.
He dispelled the impression that the private schools have raised fee for security. “No school has increased the fee. I hope the government would understand our position and won’t press us for the unbearable burden,” he said.
The government on the other hand has expressed its commitment to fully implement the security advice.A high-level meeting presided over by Chief Minister Pervez Khattak on Wednesday reiterated the government’s stand to link reopening of the schools on January 12 with the security clearance.
The chief minister told the meeting that they could not risk the lives of children and all the schools would have to get security clearance before reopening. Any school that reopens without the security clearance from local administration would not only be closed down, but also its principal would be arrested and its affiliation with board cancelled, he said.
The conditions of security clearance and no-objection certificate have created confusion among all the stakeholders. The process of security clearance is not that simple to be completed within three to four days.
Yawar Naseer said that the government had issued a security proforma to all the schools. The schools would have to arrange all the requirements to fill the proforma and submit its one copy each at the offices of district police and Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education. The police and board representative would then verify the arrangements and issue clearance or otherwise, he said.
Asked would the whole process be possible before January 12, he said they would reopen the schools and the process would take its course.Minister for Education Mohammad Atif had also told The News that the schools’ managements would hold meetings with the local administration. If the administration is satisfied with the security situation, the schools would be reopened as per schedule on January 12.

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