KARACHI - The Sindh government on Friday decided to beef up security of educational institutions by further strengthening intelligence work, patrolling along the borders of Sindh-Punjab and Sindh Balochistan and deployment of police and Rangers in the areas where schools are located.

This decision was taken in a meeting held under the chairmanship of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah at the CM House. DG Rangers Major General Bilal Akbar, the Secretary Home, Commissioner Karachi, Additional IGP Sindh, Additional IGP Karachi Mushtaq Maher, representatives of different agencies and others attended the meeting.

"We have to work out a concrete plan to protect educational institutions whether they are operating in public or private sector," the CM said and added that it was the collective responsibility of the government and its institutions concerned.

It was pointed out in the meeting that around 180 educational institutions have been identified as sensitive in terms of their security. Therefore, police and Rangers personnel have been assigned such schools' security and they have started coordination with the administrations.

The meeting was informed that an SOP for the security of the schools have been framed and shared with all the public and private schools. The important points of the SOP are installation of CCTV cameras, installation fire extinguishers, keeping a first aid box, checking of every individual working in the schools or keeping an eye who comes to pick and drop children, raising of schools' compound wall, developing barriers on the way leading to school and coordinate with the police station concerned. DG Rangers Major General Bilal Akbar said that he has physically deployed Rangers personnel at and around 108 schools. The incharge of the Rangers units held meetings with school management to develop close coordination with them and exchange telephone and cell numbers to coordinate and contact easily. The Rangers have also started providing security to more than 60 schools located in interior areas of Sindh.

The meeting also decided to deploy scouts in the schools for security and the parents may also be involved in security work.

The private schools which can afford their own security have been guided properly. New cameras have been installed around the schools and in their adjoining streets. The personnel of law enforcement agencies in plain clothes also keep visiting around the schools.

It was also decided to start NCC training in the schools for initial personal defence and developing confidence among the children and teaching staff. The LEAs have also started scanning the staff working in the schools.

The proposal of activating Police Qaumi Razakar and Civil Defence volunteers for the security of educational institutions was also approved.

The chief minister pointed out that he had some reports that seminaries are being constructed in the desert areas of Thar.

Under the cloak of social work, some outsiders have started building seminaries, and they are importing students from other poverty-stricken areas of the country.

"How could these madaris being constructed by outsiders for outsider students be allowed there?" he asked and directed all the LEA officers sitting in the meeting to keep an eye and report him in this regard. He added that it was decided in the Apex Committee that no new seminary would be allowed to operate without prior permission of the home department.

The chief minister also directed education department to implement the SOP framed for security of the educational institutions. He said the schools reluctant to implement the SOP might be dealt legally.

Additional IG Karachi Mushtaq Maher said that he had developed an alarm call between the school and police station concerned. This system developed through Ufone would start functioning next week.

The CM also expressed his displeasure on the growing incidents of street crime.

“This means the criminals were still operating in the city and can create problems as far as security of the citizens and schools is concerned.”

The chief minister urged the DG Rangers, Police and Commissioner Karachi to keep holding meetings regarding security of the educational institutions. He also directed to increase patrolling and vigilance on the border areas of Punjab and Balochistan.