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DERA ISMAIL KHAN: The educational institutions in the district are reopening today (Monday) after extended winter vacations, but they have mostly failed to adopt the government-issued security measures in the wake of the terrorist attack on the Army Public School, Peshawar, last month, it is learnt.

“We are reopening our schools today, but the directive to take particular security guidelines is difficult for us to implement,” owner of a private school told Dawn on condition of anonymity.

He said that the educational institutions of the district, which were in close proximity with the tribal belt of South Waziristan, were more vulnerable from the security point of view.

There are 2,300 educational institutions in Dera district.

The school owner said that the prevailing situation had forced parents to get their children enrolled in schools in relatively safe cities, including Islamabad and Rawalpindi.

Meanwhile, district education officer, male, Riaz Khan Swati, said that no educational institution had expressed reservation over the government issued security guidelines or cited any funds shortage for taking the required security measures. “Rather, all schools and colleges had appreciated and assured to implement security plan in letter and spirit,” he added.

Mr Swati said that special inspection teams would be visiting the educational institutions to take stock of progress on implementation of the security guidelines.

He said there had been strong coordination between all the relevant departments, adding that meetings were also held with district police and heads of educational institutions to sort out issues with regard to providing security to schools and colleges.

MANSEHRA: The police have launched an emergency phone service for the private and public sector schools in the district to act promptly in case of a terrorist attack or any emergency situation.

“We have launched a special service which would promptly alarm local, divisional and provincial heads of police in case of any emergency at school or college,” said Zulfiqar Khan Jadoon, the deputy superintendent of police, while speaking to media men here on Sunday.

He said that the data of all the schools was being fed into the new security system, adding that training workshops would also be held for representatives of public and private schools on how to operate the system.

Mr Jadoon said that around 3,100 educational institutions, including 308 in the city, would be linked with the security system. “Every school and college will appoint a person who would be provided specific mobile sets that couldn’t be operated except him,” said the police official.

He said that with a single click the school-security-message would be sent simultaneously to 10 police officers, including IGP, DIG, DPO, DSP, SHO and the concerned police station.

Meanwhile, the Hazara University is reopening today (Monday), after it was closed in the wake of the terrorist attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar last month.

According to a press release issued on Sunday, heads and faculty members of all departments had also been directed to ensure their presence on the day so classes could regularly be held.

Published in Dawn January 12th , 2014

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