LAHORE: The city’s educational institutions re-opened on Monday after more than three weeks amidst security concerns which kept students as well as their parents in anxiety though out the day.
The Punjab government has claimed completing security arrangements as per its Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in all the public and private sector institutions. The security measures were visible in most educational institutions, including private tuition centres (academies).
The government, however, told managements of some private institutions to stay closed till the completion of security arrangements on their campuses.
It is learnt that the Aitchison College has extended `winter vacation’ till January 19 for not being able to take security measures as per government SOPs.
On Monday, when students came to their schools and colleges, most of them witnessed additions to the boundary walls with coils of barbed wire, besides heaps of sandbags in front of their gates. In the classrooms, terrorism, especially the attack on Peshawar school was mostly the topic of their discussions which used to be about TV serials, films and cartoons.
“It was heart touching to hear my daughter telling her younger brother to leave school bag and run, if any terrorist will come in your classroom,” a mother said.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has assigned responsibilities to the provincial ministers and administrative secretaries of various departments for ensuring implementation of vigilance checklists and preparedness regarding security of educational institutions in the districts.
According to the CM’s instructions, the provincial ministers and secretaries will stay in districts for next 10 days and monitor security measures.
Meanwhile, presiding over a meeting of administrative secretaries at the Civil Secretariat, Punjab education minister Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan said all types of public and private sector educational institutions had been included in the checklists for security arrangements.
He said commissioners and regional police officers (RPOs) concerned would prepare road map for inspection of schools by provincial ministers and administrative secretaries and duties would be assigned on daily basis.
The minister said the required funds had been provided to DCOs in every district for making security arrangements, which would be utilised in consultation with the elected representatives and schools councils concerned.
Earlier, the minister paid Surprise visits to the Government Girls High School, Model Town, Divisional Public School, Government College of Home Economics, Queen Marry College, Government Girls College, Model Town, and the Aitcheson College in the city.
He met with teachers and students who attended schools on the first day after winter vacation and expressed his satisfaction that the new generation had moved on from the trauma of Peshawar tragedy.
During his visit to the Aitcheson College, some parents told the minister that a portion of its boundary wall could not be raised up to eight feet, upon which he directed the principal to complete the work within a week and keep the college closed till January 19.
Published in Dawn January 13th , 2014