Islamabad - The elite private schools of Islamabad will reopen today (Tuesday) after the government assured them of providing security as pledged to the government schools.

The schools were closed last week when the public and private schools in Punjab were closed on the pretext of cold weather. Though most of schools have been opened in Punjab, confusion persisted in Islamabad after the private schools association on Sunday announced that schools in urban parts of the city would not be opened until the government assured them of security cover.

However, after yesterday’s meeting with the high-ups of Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD), the schools have decided to resume classes. “Our consultations with the CADD officials remained positive and they have agreed to cooperate on security issues; so most of the schools will reopen from Tuesday,” said Zofran Elahi, President Private Schools Association (urban) Islamabad that represents elite schools.

It was decided that the government would help procure trained security guards as the guards of private companies are not well-trained, he said. The private schools will also be issued arm licences just like government schools.

The Federal Directorate of Education on January 26 directed all the government schools to construct 8 feet high boundary wall, install CCTV cameras, inspection mirrors and concertina wire, and ensure use of metal detectors at the gates with maintenance of all visitors’ data.

It has been decided to issue two or three licences to each educational institute and for that principals may send requisition to the commissioner office for issuance of the requisite arms licences.

The principals have been asked to hire trained security guards and in case of any problem in finding trained guards, they may communicate this to the Federal Directorate of Education.

Though the elite schools preferred to stay closed, the low-cost private schools decided to take security measures without closing institutions.

“Exams are going to commence so we cannot afford to close the institutions any longer,” said Afzal Babar, President of Private Schools Network. Only elite schools can afford closure, as their academic session is closed in May/June, he said. Low-cost private schools have taken security measures on their own, he added.