PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government on Wednesday backtracked on its stand that teachers could carry small weapons into schools for own security after a representative body of primary schoolteachers rejected it.

Minister for elementary and secondary education Atif Khan insisted his department had never issued such instructions and that the government would not encourage teachers or students to take firearms to classrooms.

Also read: Primary teachers in KP refuse to keep arms in school

“Our government will never encourage such practice to allow teachers to carry fire arms with them to the schools,” he told Dawn after addressing a convention organised by the All Primary Teachers Association Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The body representing over 78,000 male and female teachers of the province organised the event here against the government’s plan to allow teachers to carry small weapons into schools in the wake of the Dec 16 terrorist attack on the Army Public School Peshawar.

The convention was also addressed by Awami National Party parliamentary leader Sardar Hussain Babak and PPP MPA Mohammad Saleem Khan.

Information minister Mushtaq Ghani had earlier stated that the provincial cabinet had authorised the teachers to bring along with them small weapons for safety purposes. He had said that the teachers would engage attackers in case of any attack on the schools to avoid the APS type incidents.

Civil society groups and media strongly criticised the government for encouraging teachers to take weapons to classrooms.


Development comes over opposition of schoolteachers


Minister Atif Khan said the provincial government had never taken any decision about allowing teachers to carry weapons.

However, some teachers could keep licensed arms, which was a routine practice.

The minister said the provincial government had released Rs1.5 billion to the district administrations across the province for building eight feet boundary walls and fixing two feet barbed wire on them.

He said the money released for the construction of boundary walls had been diverted from other facilities like drinking water and toilets.

The teacher association’s president, Malik Khalid, said provision of security to students and teachers was the prime responsibility of the state and therefore, the association rejected the government’s idea on allowing arms on campus out right.

“Our duty is to teach students and not to protect them from attackers,” he said. The association’s president said the government had done legislation to ban corporal punishment in schools and that lately, teachers were allowed to keep weapon, which was very unrealistic.

“It is very illogical to ask teachers to carry firearms into school,” he said, adding that the government had spent millions of rupees on discouraging corporal punishment in educational institutions.

Malik Khalid said 4,763 schools didn’t have boundary walls in the province and therefore, the government should immediately build boundary walls around schools.

He also opposed the involvement of teachers in anti-polio campaigns and suggested that the government set up a separate body for the purpose.

Published in Dawn January 22nd , 2015

On a mobile phone? Get the Dawn Mobile App: Apple Store | Google Play

Opinion

Digital finance
17 Jan 2021

Digital finance

Raast offers opportunities for inclusion, but is not without risk.
Broadsheetgate
Updated 17 Jan 2021

Broadsheetgate

The competence that has underlined NAB and its actions has cost us dearly now and even in 2008.
Debate on ordinances
17 Jan 2021

Debate on ordinances

The government’s line of thinking indicates a belief in the principle of brute majority.
America in decline?
Updated 16 Jan 2021

America in decline?

In spite of the ‘gates’ that rocked the US, democracy stood firm.

Editorial

Updated 17 Jan 2021

Foreign funding case

THE Election Commission of Pakistan has summoned both the PML-N and PPP on Monday in connection with the foreign...
17 Jan 2021

Vaccine procurement

ALL eyes are on the government as it pledges to roll out the Covid-19 vaccination programme to about 80m citizens by...
17 Jan 2021

Makli ‘renovation’

THERE are fears that the recently conducted ‘renovation’ work carried out at the Makli necropolis may rob the...
16 Jan 2021

Gas liberalisation

AFTER drawing much criticism from both consumers and the opposition over its mismanagement of the energy sector that...
16 Jan 2021

Osama Satti inquiry

THE findings of the judicial inquiry into the Jan 2 killing of 21-year-old Osama Satti in Islamabad merely confirms...
Updated 16 Jan 2021

British MP on IHK

DESPITE sustained efforts by New Delhi’s rulers to remove India-held Kashmir from the global discourse, people of...