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January 10, 2015

Schools not following SOPs


January 10, 2015

A large number of public and private educational institutions of the provincial metropolis, especially schools, have not followed Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in true spirit vis-à-vis security arrangements in the wake of the Peshawar school attack.
The emerging situation after the school attack had warranted strict measures and necessary directions were also issued from quarters concerned in this regard but it seems it was ignored by those responsible owing to their traditional lethargic attitude.
According to the Punjab government’s decision, education institutions across the province are scheduled to reopen from January 12 (Monday). The schools, colleges and universities in the province were closed after the December 16 attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar and were supposed to reopen on Jan 5 in a bid to ensure maximum security managements in the meanwhile.
However, the government had to extend the winter vacation as most educational institutions had failed to take security measures prescribed by the Home Department Punjab. One of the main reasons behind extending the break was a gigantic incomplete task of raising and building boundary walls of public schools across the province.
There had been around 2,600 government schools out of total over 50,000 without boundary walls in different parts of Punjab.
After the vacation was extended the educational institutions were also categorised on the basis of locality, students strengthen and ownership and revised SOPs were issued in this regard.
Sources in the School Education Department Punjab told The News that out of total 1,250 public schools in Lahore 13 were placed in A+ category and 388 in A category while the rest of the schools in B category. While out of around 5,000 private schools, 120 were placed in A+ category, 29 in A category and the rest in the B category.
At many localities of the provincial metropolis one can find schools and colleges not fulfilling

some of the basics SOPs including barbed/razor wires on the boundary walls, arrangements vis-à-vis zigzag entry and installation of CCTV cameras. However, those responsible for ensuring the arrangements claim that the SOPs were to be followed as per category.
Talking to The News, Executive District Officer (Education) Lahore Muhammad Pervaiz Akhtar said schools not following the SOPs as per their categories were being issued show-cause notices and so far 1,170 schools had been served with notices.
He said it was under consideration that schools not following the SOPs might not be allowed to open.
Muhammad Pervaiz Akhtar said that installation of CCTV cameras or barbed/razor wires were not required by all schools.
However, schools (public and private), falling in the A+ category were supposed to ensure the arrangements before the reopening of educational institutions.
He also said clearance certificates were being issued to schools fulfilling the prescribed requirements.

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