Islamabad: Despite a threat alert issued by the intelligence agencies to departments across the country last month, about 32 per cent schools in the federal capital have been functioning without proper boundary walls and inadequate security measures. The data of education department shows that the walls of some 32 per cent schools have been broken down and 26 per cent need reconstruction.

According to the information obtained by The Nation, about 43 per cent walls of the schools in Islamabad Capital Territory need repair while only 25 per cent schools can be said to have satisfactory construction conditions. Around 70 per cent institutions have walled up to 6 feet or less than 6 feet in contrast to the recommendations of law enforcement agencies that had directed the educational institutions to raise the walls up to 8 feet with barbed wires installed on them.

As many as 422 schools and colleges are operational in ICT under the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) and of them are 31 model and federal colleges and 391 schools. According to officials, after the Taliban attack on Army Public School, Peshawar in December last, the Capital Administration and Development Division had issued some Rs182 million for security arrangements but they were diverted to model and federal colleges that already are in better conditions because of higher budgetary allocations and over 300 schools of federal set up despite being in tatters were ignored.

“In these schools only CCTV cameras were installed and students were issued identity cards but neither were they issued funds to hire security guards nor to repair damaged boundary walls,” informed an official requesting anonymity.  “Only two schools have been given funds to repair the damage while for the rest of them, there are no plans in near future,” he added. Islamabad Model School for Girls, G7/2, is one such school in the heart of the capital whose boundary wall has been collapsed. The school was renamed as Benazir Shaheed College but no allocations were made to start higher secondary classes.

“The schools turn into a playground in the evening when the children of neighborhood enter the school building as it has no boundary wall and play in its ground,” complained a school employee. He said its CCTV cameras were stolen and now the administration installed them again. It’s been learnt that the construction work going on in some colleges and schools is also stalled since a month due to interruption in the flow of funds. An official of Islamabad College for Boys F-10/3 informed the college has boundary walls at its two sides with two sides demolished to construct again. But the construction work is pending since a last one month. “With two sides of wall demolished completely and the other two having 5 to 6 feet height, the college students are exposed to any kind of security threat,” remarked the official.

The college has written many times to FDE to complete the construction work and erect barbed wires on the walls but the FDE officials always excuse by putting blame on paucity of funds, he further said. FDE DG Shehnaz Riaz when contacted maintained the colleges were selected for allocation of funds by CADD and Director Project and Development wing at FDE before she took charge of the post so she had no say in this decision. CADD Spokesperson Qaiser Majeed did not respond to the repeated calls made to get Division’s version.