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Schools, colleges lack security

Rawalpindi, March 13, 2008: Lack of security at educational institutions is worrying the teachers, students and their parents due to current wave of suicide bombings in the country.

Although law-enforcement agencies have heightened security in the city, no security has been provided to the government educational institutions.

During visit to different educational institutions on Wednesday, It was learnt that private schools and colleges had hired services of private security agencies to protect the lives of teachers and students.

Government institutions: Contrary to the private educational institutions, the teachers and students of government educational institutions are feeling insecure, as the law-enforcement agencies have not formulated any security plan for them.

Muhammad Nauman, a student of Government Gordon College, Rawalpindi, said the law-enforcement agencies should devise some plan to provide security to educational institutions. "We feel insecure at the college," he said.

Ghazala Jabeen, a student of Waqar-un-Nisa Government Postgraduate College, said her parents were worried about her, as they knew there were no security arrangements at the college. She said her teachers and class fellows were also feeling insecure.

Qamar Abbas, a student of Government Degree College Satellite Town, Rawalpindi, said that students had asked the administration for security measures and had volunteered to make arrangements to avoid any untoward incident. He said it was not possible for law-enforcement agencies to deploy security officials at every college and school.

"It has become quite difficult for students and teachers to focus on studies, as there is no security at school, "said Mrs Atiya, a teacher at Government Higher Secondary School Murree Road. She said the authorities should pay attention to schools and colleges security.

Muhammad Saeed, whose children study at Government Primary School, Khyaban-e-Sir Syed, said students and teachers were more vulnerable to bombing during rush at schools' gates in the morning and afternoon times. He said security officials should be deputed at gates during these timings.

Rawal Town of Police Superintendent Khurum Shahzad said that police were patrolling the educational institutions to avoid any untoward situation.

He said Muhaffiz Force had been specially directed to remain alert around the schools and colleges to protect the teachers and students. He said police would also be deployed at the government girls' schools and colleges.

Students concerned over security at schools
Lahore: The students of several institutes denounced Tuesday's bombings on the FIA building and in Model Town, saying security at their institutes was not good enough to stop terrorists.

Attendance at schools remained low on Wednesday and the bombings remained the central topic of discussion. Students said the attacks had shaken the city and that the country was being pushed into turmoil. "Terrorism has take the city into its grip and even educational institutes are not safe, but the government is still unable to take any concrete steps to deal with the menace," they said.

Arooj, a Lahore Grammar School student, said her parents were afraid to send her to school. "We students are worried and feel threatened and insecure," she added.

Sadaf, a Lahore College for Women University (LCWU) student, said the university had not enough security and that anyone could enter the school. "The Tuesday's bombings have made everyone sad here," she said.

"It is senseless that students have become targets of terrorism. We go to school for education. We don't have anything to do with the government's policies," asked Abrar, a Punjab University student.

Several institutes have increased security and checking every person entering their premises. Government College University Communications Adviser Iqbal Anjum said the GCU vice chancellor had issued special instructions for security arrangements. "All entrance gates will be guarded around the clock," he said. LCWU Vice Chancellor Prof Bushra Mateen said it was impossible to make foolproof security arrangements with the limited resources the school had. "If the FIA was unable to fend off suicide attacks, how can we claim to do so," she asked. She said students had been asked not to sit in the ground and try to stay in class most of the time. The All Pakistan Private Schools Welfare Association has asked member schools to devise their own security plans to avoid similar attacks because dozens of students were injured in Tuesday bombings. The Education Department had earlier issued a warning to schools and had asked them to make necessary security arrangements. Daily Times
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