Security level in Punjab school colleges

Security lowest priority in educational institutions in Punjab
Lahore, Oct 19: At least 1,300 government schools and 35 colleges are vulnerable to terrorism in the city, but the Punjab Education Department has failed to improve security arrangements in educational institutions despite the growing threat of terrorism in the provincial metropolis.

The Punjab government has issued directives to the department on several occasions to ensure appropriate security measures in government and private schools. The district coordination officer has directed the schools to hire security guards and frisk anyone entering the premises with metal detectors, but it seemed his words were unheard.

Some of the schools are in operation without boundary walls and security guards are missing in many others. A girls' school in Shadbagh has no front wall whereas modest boundary walls in some schools would allow anyone to enter the premises without any hindrance. Talking to Aaj Kal, Rana Liaquat of the Joint Action Committee urged the government to improve security arrangements in government schools. He said security guards should be hired on emergency basis and they should be equipped with necessary paraphernalia. He said examinations, which are supposed to be held in the morning, should be postponed. He said exams should only be held at noon to avoid congestion of people in educational institutions.

Executive District Officer (Education) Dr Arshad said some private schools had received threats, and security was being improved in government institutions. He said boundary walls of large government schools had been completed and the process to hire security guards would be started soon. He said all available resources would be used to improve the security situation. According to the report, at least 63,000 government schools and 400 colleges are educating 0.4 million students in Punjab. Daily times

Security guidelines: Schools get 3 days to plug loopholes
Lahore: The three English-medium schools, whose administrations were directed to close operations on Saturday, have been given three days to make up for security shortcomings. The police have provided security to them for the time being.

The provincial education department on Saturday ordered closure of Ibne Sina School, Lahore Grammar School's Defence branch and Beaconhouse School System's Gulberg branch for violating security directives.

Senior Superintendent of Police (Operations) Chaudhry Shafiq Ahmad said that the administrations of the three schools had been granted three-day deadline to adopt security measures. He said over 100 English-medium schools of the city were advised through the education department to deploy security guards, raise walls and install surveillance cameras before the summer holidays but the three schools did not follow the instructions.

He said neither any English-medium school was closed in the city nor had any of them informed the police about any direct threat. The SSP said practically the whole city was facing terrorism threat, adding that information in some cases passed by unidentified callers about terror attack on any specific organisation proved fake.

He said the police received no written directive from the home department to seal the private schools which did not act upon the security measures against terror threats.

A divisional SP said that the police in all six divisions of the city had prepared lists of all those schools where security measures were inadequate and the school administrations were being convinced to enhance their private security guards, raise boundary walls and set up hurdles.

He said the schools were directed to deploy their own security force rather than asking the police because of shortage of cops.

Meanwhile, an investigation wing police officer said the terrorists killed in the three attacks on FIA headquarters, Manawan Police Training School and Bedian Elite Training Centre were not identified yet.

He said neither their face surgery helped the police recognise the attackers nor was their identification proved from Nadra record. He further said the database of terrorists and their allies available to the Lahore police also did not identify them.

The officer said that some suspects besides active members of Hizbul Tehrir were being interrogated in a routine manner but no one directly or indirectly linked with the terror attacks was captured.

He claimed the hitherto police investigation in previous suicide or coordinated terror attacks in the city suggested that terrorists striking in the provincial capital belonged to some three to four militant groups which had vast operations than the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan of the late Baitullah Mehsud. He, however, refused to identify the groups for security reasons.

These terrorists were being linked with the TTP but actually they were not, he added. He said the terrorists used the same modus operandi while striking at the FIA building and two police training centres. Dawn

Institutions asked to step up security
Lahore: DCO Lahore Sajjad Bhutta has directed the owners of all private educational institutions to ensure foolproof security by boosting the security staff, raising their walls, screening of irrelevant visitors and installing walkthrough scanner gates.

He said that the institutions should build emergency exit points to cater to the evacuation in the event of a terrorist activity. He advised that the fire extinguishers should be ensured on all campuses according to the size of the building. The news

DHA, Cantt schools closed for a week
Lahore: All schools and colleges run by the army and those in the Defence Housing Authority in the provincial capital have been closed for a week.

The decision to the effect was taken on Sunday in the wake of security concerns. The DHA runs five schools and two degree colleges while the army runs several schools and a few colleges (a couple of them were also of federal government) under the Lahore Garrison Education Institutions System in Cantonment. An official said that parents of some garrison schools' students saw the notices announcing the holidays outside the schools.

DHA spokesman Tajamal Hussain said that the authorities took the decision to close the schools till Oct 24 (Saturday) keeping in view the security threats and worries shown by the parents following the attack on Bedian Elite Training School situated near the DHA.

He said a good number of their students belonged to Burki Road and Bedian. Dawn

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Public displays of affection at LUMS
Lahore: The storm raging at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) over what has been termed 'public displays of affection' suggests why we, as a nation, face so many problems today. It is ironic that while on the one hand we face a crisis of governance, economic meltdown and terrorist threats on an unprecedented scale on the other hand it is issues such as those at LUMS that take up so much time and energy. The campus controversy, now trickling out beyond the walls of the university, involves just such a 'public display of affection' between a female and a male student. A vigilant fellow student captured the moment and sent out emails seeking support to condemn such behaviour. University authorities are currently contemplating a ban on PDAs, even though many students showed no desire to condemn what happened and in fact reacted with some hostility to the fact that it had been documented and included in email messages.

The whole thing is in fact a non-issue. Why should there be so much interest in the behaviour of two individuals which affects no one else? We don't need more vigilantes in society, who feel it their right to appropriate to themselves the guardianship of society's morals and behaviour. This attitude reflects our overall national psyche which makes us a nation that excels in lecturing (and hectoring) others for all kinds of imagined and perceived faults, all the while ignoring our own flaws and problems (that is also unfortunately why whenever terrorists acts happen so many of us are quick to spread and believe all kinds of wild conspiracy theories blaming the rest of the world, when the attackers are quite clearly from within us and our very own creations). It is time to jump off the moral bandwagon so many in the country are on. We have many real problems to grapple with. We must not waste time on others that should not concern anyone at all.

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Focus on student training
Lahore: University Model High School for Girls Management Committee Chairperson Prof Dr Samar Fatima said that the education standard of the school would be improved.

Addressing an Eid Milan party at the school here at New Campus, she said special focus would be given to students' training along with providing quality education, said a press release here on Sunday.

School Management Committee Secretary Dr Aurangzeb told the teachers that the present administration had been trying to provide a service structure which would solved all their problems and they could fully focus on their duties.

School Principal Salma Parveen thanked the PU vice-chancellor and said she hoped that the VC would solve all problems of teachers through this committee and provide special funds for a staff room, a daycare centre and two classrooms.The news

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Extra-curricular activities' plan
Lahore: The Punjab chief minister's programme of speeches, debates, essay writing and sports for 2009 has been finalised.

According to details, competitions will start from Nov 5, 2009 and continue till Jan 9, 2010.

In order to monitor the programme, a provincial level committee has been formed which consists of Punjab DPI (SE) Mian Abdul Haq (chairman), DPI (Colleges) Dr. Abdul Razzaq Cheema (member), DPI (Elementary) Ch. Bashir Ahmad (member), BISE Lahore chairman Dr. Akram Kashmiri (member) and sports deputy secretary Muhammad Waris (member), whereas committees from markaz to division level have also been set up.

These committees will be headed by the director colleges of the division concerned (division level), education executive district officer of the district concerned (district level), deputy district education officers (men) of tehsil concerned (tehsil level) and assistant education officer (men) of markaz concerned. No separate tournament for primary, middle, high, intermediate or degree level students will be arranged by any institution or agency like BISEs or universities or sports boards, etc, and sports and games will also be part of the extra-curricular programme.

No discrimination will be made between public and private schools. The programme is only for students, hence students from all government and private institutions will be provided with equal opportunity to participate.

Moreover, a special cell in the office of DPI (SE) has been set up under the chairmanship of additional DPI (SE) to monitor all the activities. Phone numbers of the cell are 042-99212268 and 0300-4433177. APP

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