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Serious concerns overs security of school colleges

IIUI attack highlights security needs of educational institutions
Lahore, Oct 21: The suicide bombings at the International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) have raised serious concerns for the security of schools and colleges in the city.

The offices of law enforcement agencies in densely populated areas pose a direct threat to the schools and colleges located there. Citizens have repeatedly asked the government to relocate these offices from densely populated residential areas. One such example is the office of the Punjab Police inspector general (IG), which is surrounded by educational institutions from all sides. A police station and the office of a security agency, as well as other government offices present in the area, are taken as other likely terrorist targets.

The major educational institutions in the city are without adequate security arrangements. They lack even properly armed security guards. These institutions include some of the largest campuses in the city, including the Punjab University (PU), Government College University (GCU), National College of Arts (NCA), the University of Education, Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College, Kinnaird College (KC), and Lahore College for Women University (LCWU). A number of high and secondary level schools are also located in the same area, some of them near the IG's office. There are more than 30,000 students studying at the different departments of PU. More than 3,000 of them study at the Old Campus on The Mall, which is near GCU, NCA and the offices of many law enforcement agencies, PU sources informed.

PU Resident Officer Shahid Gul told said that the university had around 160 guards, but said only a few of them possessed light ammunition. He said the university officials had met police and government officials on Tuesday to discuss arrangements to beef up security.

NCA Principal Nazish Ataullah said there were some 675 regular and dozens of non-regular students in studying at the college. She said the college administration had taken adequate security measures.

A GCU spokesman said there were over 6,000 students studying at the university, and dozens of guards had been deployed. However, he said only a few of them were armed. Officials at the universities and colleges said they expected the government to help them make security arrangements, as they feared their institutions could be targeted after the attack on the International Islamic University Islamabad. Daily times

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Punjab government, private educational institutions closed
Lahore: After reassessing the security situation, the Punjab government on Tuesday night ordered closure of all educational institutions in the province till further orders.

The decision in this regard was taken at a meeting presided over by Senior Adviser Sirdar Zulfikar Khan Khosa, ministers, Chief Secretary Javed Mahmood, Home Secretary Nadeem Hasan Asif, IG Tariq Saleem Dogar and Commissioner Khusro Pervaiz Khan.

The Punjab government had on Monday decided to keep the educational institutions open, but after reassessing the security situation in the wake of a suicide attack on Islamabad's International Islamic University, it decided to have all educational institutions closed till further orders.

The institutions include all types of public, private and philanthropic universities, colleges and schools, Mr Khusro said. In the meanwhile, the officials asked all security agencies to adopt measures to ensure security of the educational institutions on an emergency basis. It was told that security arrangements for educational institutions, particularly of the private sector, were inadequate.

The meeting directed the departments concerned to prepare a comprehensive and foolproof strategy for the protection of the educational institutions in league with their management, administration and parents during their closure. Dawn

DHA schools shut down indefinitely?
Lahore: The Defence Housing Authority (DHA) administration on Tuesday announced the closure of all educational institutions located in the housing society for indefinite time to boost up the security arrangements at the institutions. There are seven public schools and a number of private institutions situated in the DHA and a number of them are providing co-education. The administration has kept the schools closed for the past few days after the intelligence agencies reported likely terrorist attacks in the wake of the Waziristan operation. The DHA authorities had previously planned to open the schools on Wednesday (today) after beefing up the security in and around the school premises. However, they decided to prolong the closure for a few more days after the suicide bombings at the International Islamic University in Islamabad (IIUI).

The incident has spread fear and panic among the students, parents and the school administrations. Many parents were reported to be uncertain about whether the students should be sent to schools or not, as the administrations had not intimated them about further closure. The officials of the DHA administration held a meeting in their head office to discuss a future course of action on Tuesday. The officials said that the final decision could not be reached due to the blast at the IIUI occurring after the meeting. They said it was probable that a large number of students would not attend school on Wednesday, while those who come may be given closure notification if the administration decided to close schools.

The recent security measures by the DHA administration include an increase in the number of mobile vans patrolling around the premises, the deployment of uniformed and under-cover policemen and security guards in and around the schools, a ban on the entry of strangers in the streets during the pick and drop timings, installation of closed-circuit TV (CCTV) cameras, disallowing the entry of any vehicle inside the school premises, and raising the height of boundary walls and installation of barbed wires. The other security measures include the installation of walk-through scanners, removal of any possible points of infiltration into the schools, tight internal security, presence of security during the night so that no one is able to hide in the school premises and removal of bushes and fences in the vacant plots situated around the buildings to prevent any potential terrorists hideouts.

DHA spokesman Tajamul Hussain Anjum said that the DHA authorities had planned to open the schools by Wednesday as they had already taken all the security measures to avoid any untoward incident, but they might prolong the closure. He said the authorities were extremely concerned about the security and comfort of their residents and would take a decision that would be in the students' favour and the parents would be informed soon. Daily times

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Support to Punjab private schools assured
Lahore: A policy dialogue among a 20-member delegation of All Pakistan Private Schools Welfare Association (APPSWA), headed by its Central President Syed Zulqarnain Shah and Punjab Education Foundation (PEF) Managing Director Mohiuddin Wani, was held at the latter's office here on Tuesday.

According to a press release issued by APPSWA, The participants of the dialogue agreed that support to the private schools was an important policy matrix of the Punjab government as nobody could ignore their role in the spread of education, therefore, the government was proactively working, as a facilitator, to enable the private schools to further the cause of knowledge in the province.

Speaking on the occasion, the PEF managing director said knowledge set people free and education assured freedom and democracy. He said schools were the best hope to keep our future generations informed, adding that teachers should be committed to education and the government would ensure every possible facility to the private educational institutions.

On this occasion, Syed Zulqarnain Shah said APPSWA would cooperate with government for increasing the literacy rate and provision of quality education, demanding broadening the Foundation Assisted Schools Programme to the whole province instead of limiting it to 30 schools per district. He demanded establishment of a complaint cell in the PEF office and opening of sub-offices in other districts to solve private schools problems at the district level.

The delegation demanded that the NGOs, earlier blacklisted by the Punjab Education Foundation, should not be included in the Cluster-Based Training Programme and Superior Leadership Development Programme.

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GCU reviews performance
Lahore: The Government University, Lahore, Urdu Department Tuesday held its annual meeting to review its performance.

According to a press release here, the meeting, chaired by Urdu Department Chairperson Dr Saadat Saeed, was told the university was likely to produce more than five PhD scholars in Urdu language and literature during the ongoing academic year.

The meeting was informed that 299 students were studying in the department from BA (Hons) to PhD level. As many as 47 students are affiliated with PhD programme and about 105 students are registered in MPhil classes.

Talking about the news item of suspension of masters programme, he said that the GC University had implemented the Higher Education Commission's modern educational system under which students were directly admitted in MPhil after four-year BA (Hons).

He said that the system was more effective and being followed at almost all the major universities of the world.He said the department had highly educated faculty which includes more than eight PhD professors. The meting was also told that literary circles in their messages had also lauded the performance of the GCU Urdu Department, saying the department would continue producing literary people like Ashfaq Ahmed and Bano Qudsia.

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New encyclopaedia in Urdu language
Lahore: Writing a book is a lot of work, and often work of a very tedious kind. It becomes even more difficult if an individual decides to compile and publish an encyclopaedia on his own. Yasir Jawad is one such enterprising literary personality and a researcher, who has single-handedly compiled a new encyclopaedia in Urdu language, titled "Aalmi Encyclopaedia".

The subheading says the encyclopaedia has 17,000 entries on historical, biographical, academic, literary, geographical, scientific, and technical and cultural subjects. The encyclopaedia also includes 7,000 photographs from authentic sources. The huge collection, with a hardcover and newsprint, consists of over 2,500 pages and has been produced in two parts: the first part has entries in Urdu alphabetical order from "Alif" to "Seen", and the second part includes entries from "Sheen" to "Yay". The encyclopaedia with a price tag of Rs5,000 has been published by Al-Faisal Publishers/Printers & Book Dealers, Lahore.

The young writer has long been associated with journalism and working as a translator for the past many years. He has so far translated at least 12 books on various topics.

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Cop injured in Manawan school died
Lahore: constable who had sustained injuries in a terrorist attack at Manawan Police Training School died on Tuesday.Police said Shakeel, 25, (belt No 19675), a resident of Farooqabad, had sustained fatal injuries when four terrorists attacked the training school on October 15. He succumbed to his injuries in a hospital.

Three bodies found: Three bodies, including of a newborn, were found from different areas on Tuesday.

The body of a 40-year-old unidentified man was found near Lorri Adda. Police suspected that the victim might have been served some poisonous substance by some swindlers, resulting in his death.Ravi Road police found the body of a 30-year-old man, identified as Sharafat of Multan, near Timber Market. The police said he was an addict who died of natural causes.

Meanwhile, Johar Town police found the body of a newborn. The police said the body was lying in a plot near G-1 Block. All the bodies were shifted to morgue. The news

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