ISLAMABAD: Confusion about the opening of private schools on Monday persists after the private schools association announced that schools in urban parts of the city would not open until the government assured them of security cover.

The private schools have said the onus has been shifted from the government onto schools, and no support is forthcoming from the government’s side.

Private schools in urban areas said they will take up the security issue with the interior and capital administration and development division ministries on Monday.

“If our conversation with the concerned ministry is not productive the private schools of Islamabad will be forced to remain closed for an indefinite period,” read a statement issued by the Private School Association on Sunday.

Froebel’s International School, Beaconhouse School System and the Islamabad Convent School are among those institutions that will be closed on Monday. Roots Millennium School branches, however, will be open.

According to the statement, Islamabad’s private schools have been working to enhance security since December 2014, while remaining within their constraints. The statement said the government has not been forthcoming in assuming the responsibility of being the primary security provider to citizens, even while prescribing measures to schools.

“Government should take some steps to ensure complete security of private education institutions,” Beaconhouse executive director Nasir Qasoori said.

The Private School Association Islamabad, which claims to have over 200 members in urban areas, announced that all its member schools will be closed on Monday. Private School Network president Zafran Elahi said: “Our schools will remain closed until the government ensures us proper security cover.”

However, the Private School Network Association, the representative body of low cost schools located mainly in rural areas, said its members would remain open.

Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Authority member Imtiaz Qureshi said the body has no knowledge of which schools are closed on Monday. “We didn’t issue any notification on school closures,” he said.

Published in Dawn, February 1st, 2016