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Low schools & colleges attendance in Lahore

LAHORE, Jan 12, 2008: Panic and grief, after the suicide attack in Lahore on January 11, affected the attendance ratio of students in city's reputed schools.

It has been observed that attendance in institutions was low on Friday as compared to the normal days. Besides students, faculty members of institutions were also expressed their concerns about the blast and termed it an inhuman act of terrorism.

The number of students and administration personnel of reputed institutions of the city was low as compared to normal days. The institutions included Lahore School of Economics, the Convent of Jesus and Mary, Lahore Grammar Schools (LGS), the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), the Government College University (GCU), the Lahore College for Women University (LCWU) and the Punjab University (PU). However, Beaconhouse National University (BNU) and Kinnaird College for Women were still in their winter break

LSE Burki campus security in-charge Rubnawaz said that the ratio of students was comparatively low. He said, on the previous day 1,259 students attended college but Friday evening witnessed the attendance of only 900 students, which was the lowest recorded this month. He speculated that the reason was fear created by the bomb blast but conceded that teachers could have cancelled classes for the day.

Some teachers of the Convent of Jesus and Mary said, only 60 percent of the students attended school on Friday. Muhammad Ayub, an LGS official said the ratio was almost normal in most of their branches. However, the attendance of students of the junior schools was thin.

Muhammad Qasim, a student of LUMS, said though the attendance was thin this Friday, this was also a usual routine. However, he added, the impact of the blast might had contributed to it this time round. Anum Yousaf, also a student of LUMS, said only 60 percent of the students attended Microeconomics class, which was low according to normal routine. She added that people sitting in the cafeteria were busy talking about the incident and urged their teachers to discuss the same, instead of conducting their classes.

LCWU media personnel Faiza Latif said students were depressed due to the blast and expressed their reactions through discussions during lessons. She said concerns about poor security were emerging in the student body and the administration was trying to appease its fears. Rubab, a Bachelors student at the GCU Lahore, said mostly students who were residents of localities near the Mall Roads could not reach campus as vans were avoiding the Mall area due to the blast.

Rushana, a Master in Information Technology (MIT) student in the PU, said that the it had suspended transportation due to the blast, on account of which it seemed like a holiday in the MIT department. She said in other departments, students did visit the campus but academic activities were very low. Worry was actually apparent on the faces of the teachers there.

Other public schools, colleges: Directorate of Public Instructions of Colleges Dr Shaukat Ali and Punjab secretary education Qazi Afaq Ahmed said instructions regarding security would be issued to educational institutions during Muharram. Moreover, the Executive District Officer Education of Lahore Zahid Hussain said he was satisfied the security at schools and added that academic activities would continue during Muharram. Daily Times
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