LAHORE - After unusual extended winter holidays, public sector and private institutions are resuming educational activities on Monday (today).

Following the attack on Army Public School in Peshawar on December 16 last year, Punjab government had announced winter holidays prior to the scheduled date and later extended vacations till January 11 for improving security arrangements to avoid any unfortunate incidents.

The government issued security guidelines to the educational institutions. However, private institutions have reservations over some of guidelines, they find difficult for them to follow. But the government made it clear that strict action would be taken against the schools that failed to adopt security measures as per the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

According to the SOPs, boundary walls of the schools must be 8 feet high with two-feet-high barbed wires. Schools administration is also bound to install CCTV cameras, maintain complete record of employees and posting of security guards at entry/exit gates.

Most of the parents are afraid and worried about sending their children to schools and colleges, concerning the current situation and threat of the miscreants. But there are still many of them who are taking bold initiatives so that their children’s education may not suffer at the hands of terrorists, and want the classes to resume as soon as possible.

Due to the prevalent fear among the society, attendance of the schools in the first day is expected to be greatly thin. Many schools will likely be facing less than 30 per cent attendance, as per sources in leading institutions of the provincial capital.

However, attendance will hopefully get better as examinations are beginning in February. Many parents and teachers are also worried about the struggle they would have to carry on for covering the syllabus within the stipulated time.

The government has constituted committees at district level to review security arrangements at educational institutions. The committees can take action including closure of educational institutions that failed to make security up to the set standards. District Coordination Officers (DCOs) concerned will monitor the security situation of the schools on daily basis.

In addition to the new SOPs, the government is also introducing National Cadets Corps (NCC) training in educational institutions.