RAWALPINDI: Schools have been placed in categories according to security sensitivity with category-A being the highest.
The Punjab government on Saturday placed all schools in cantonment and city areas in category-A. It directed the education department to complete security arrangements for these schools by January 11 and extended winter vacation till January 12.
Additionally, all schools with over 500 students were also placed in Category A.
“After placing all schools of the city and cantonment areas in category-A, today the Punjab government also extended winter vacations till January 12,” said Executive District Officer for Education Qazi Zahoorul Haq.
Earlier, it was decided that schools would reopen on January 3.
He said the decision to extend winter vacations was taken by Secretary School Education Department on Saturday during his meeting with all EDOs.
According to sources, the decision was made keeping the security situation in mind.
Discussing the measures to be taken at category-A schools, Mr Haq said boundary walls should be raised to at least eight feet, with two feet of razor wire on top. Schools have also been instructed to install walk-through gates with metal detectors and Close Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras. All steps must be taken before schools reopen.
Sources in the education department said there are 1,300 schools in Rawalpindi district, where boundary walls are below eight feet and 200 schools do not have boundary walls.
The director planning said the government would check accounts of schools and if they do not have sufficient funds, the government will facilitate them in taking necessary security measures.
Published in Dawn, December 28th, 2014