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January 12, 2015

KP educational institutions to reopen today amid uncertainty


January 12, 2015

PESHAWAR: The educational institutions in the province are set to reopen today amid confusion as most of the private schools have failed to acquire security clearance while the authorities have renewed their commitment to take stern action against the delinquent institutions.
The winter vacations of the educational institutions, which started well before the scheduled time, were extended till January 12 after the terrorist attack on the Army Public School and College on December 16. Security officials had earlier said the Army Public School and College would also reopen today.
The government subsequently issued security guidelines to all the schools, especially the private ones to strictly follow them otherwise they would not be allowed to reopen. However, the private schools have been unable to meet all the security guidelines.
The police inspected some 1,440 private schools out of the total 2,032 in the provincial metropolis and expressed dissatisfaction over the security arrangements in most of them. “As many as 1,280 schools have not taken any security measure and security clearance was issued to only 118,” Senior Superintendent Police (Operations) Mian Mohammad Saeed told The News. He said the schools that had made minimum security arrangements like raising the boundary walls and fixing razor-wires on the walls were also given clearance.
“We were not very strict about the security advisory which had been issued to the schools several days ago, but most of the institutions didn’t take it seriously at all,” he said. He said the institutions that have not been given clearance would not be allowed to reopen. About the government schools, he was of the opinion that these came under the education department that had the responsibility to get them secured. He added that inspection of the remaining schools would be completed soon.
Deputy Commissioner Peshawar, Zaheerul Islam expressed his resolve to take stern action against the schools

that have not met the security requirements. However, he didn’t have accurate data of the schools that have been issued clearance or otherwise. “I don’t have the exact data right now, but we had formed 10 teams which visited different schools to check the security situation,” he said.
He said only those schools would be allowed to reopen that have fulfilled the security requirements. About the government schools, he said that security arrangements were being made there and even the public sector schools that are in vulnerable condition, would not be allowed to reopen.
About the public sector schools, Director Education Mohammad Rafiq Khattak made it clear that all the schools are reopening today (Monday)“The government is responsible for taking security measures in the public sector institutions and the process of making security arrangements is in progress. We can’t wait for the arrangements to complete and then open the schools. We can’t waste the time of the students anymore,” he said.
However, if the local administration has some reservations about certain institutions, the matter would be taken up seriously and steps would be taken accordingly, he added. There are some 29,000 government schools and around 150 colleges in the province and almost all have only one or two watchmen. The security arrangements at the public sector schools and colleges are negligible. The private school owners, on the other hand, vowed to resume studies from today.

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