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ISLAMABAD: All public and private schools in Rawalpindi and Islamabad will reopen on Monday.

The educational institutions were scheduled to resume classes after the winter vacation on January 1; however, due the prevailing security situation the government decided to extend the vacation. Before the reopening, the schools and colleges were asked to raise their boundary wall to eight feet with two feet of razor wire on the top besides deploying trained security guards and installing close circuit television cameras and walk-through gates.

However, due to the budgetary constraints, the educational institutions under the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) have so far not taken any significant security step.

Most schools in the capital unable to make security arrangements due to lack of funds

Except for a few colleges, no visible arrangements have been made for the security of 392 government schools in Islamabad. Sources said there were over 40 schools in the federal capital which were still without proper boundary walls.

Tanvir Ahmed, the director security FDE, said: “We have made security arrangements in colleges and very soon will start putting in place similar measures in schools.”

He said efforts were also being made to get funds from the government for the security of schools.

“Once the funds are released, we will start constructing boundary walls wherever they are needed.” The official said 93 security guards had been hired for the security of colleges which also had school sections.

“Our A-class schools have completed security measures while the remaining institutions will take steps gradually. We have decided to reopen all the schools in the twin cities from Monday,” said Dr Afzal Babar, the president of the Private School Network.

Executive Director Officer (education) Rawalpindi Qazi Zahoorul Haq told Dawn: “We have completed security arrangements in all the 127 sensitive institutions in accordance with the standard operating procedure and are going to reopen the schools from Monday.”

Security audit: The capital police completed security auditing of 90 per cent government and 70 per cent private schools and found the arrangements in a majority of them unsatisfactory.

The police said its teams would visit the educational institutes on Sunday to prepare a report.

The police said a mobile emergency alert system had been introduced in each school to send SMS to the Rescue-15 and all police stations in case of an emergency.

So far briefing has been given to 1,176 representatives of 708 schools and colleges while 32 police teams will start briefing the students, administration officials and security guards of the institutes from Monday.

Published in Dawn, January 11th, 2015

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