SHC reserves judgment on petition for educational institutes’ security

Karachi:February 25:A Sindh High Court division bench headed by Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah on Wednesday reserved its verdict on a petition seeking security for educational institutes across Sindh.

The verdict was reserved after hearing arguments from the petitioner’s as well as the provincial authorities’ lawyers.

Pakistan Institute of Labor Education and Research (Piler) had moved the court to issue directives for provincial authorities to make adequate security arrangements at education institutes after the Army Public School, Peshawar was attacked.

Some 134 children and others were killed in the attack claimed by the Taliban, on December 16, 2014.

During Wednesday’s proceedings, reports were filed on behalf of the provincial chief secretary and education secretary regarding implementation of court’s directives to secure education institutes.

They informed that there were approximately 46,056 government and 12,958 registered private education institutes in the province.

“Most of the government schools have one watchman and private institutes have private security guards,” the chief secretary had stated.

He said the education department had established a centralised complaint cell to receive complaints regarding anything, including security at educational institutes. The complaint cell would be integrated with the system of law enforcement agencies.

The court was informed that the education department had also sent a PC-1 - estimating the cost of renovation and rehabilitation of the 8,417 units all over Sindh at Rs 7.63 billion - to the planning and development department for approval.

In a meeting of the department’s technical committee, held on February 17 this year, to consider the PC-1, it was decided that the education and literacy department would suggest security measures for areas which were declared highly sensitive by the home department and law enforcement agencies in the first phase.

The deputy commissioners of the respective districts were provided lists to verify vulnerability of the education institutes with regard to security measures. So far 3,030 educational institutes had been verified, verification of six districts was still awaited.

The secretaries said the estimated rough cost for construction, renovation and rehabilitation of the 3,030 institutes amounts to Rs1.68 billion.The news.