Recently, Punjab’s interior department conducted a security audit of 4,894 government schools across the province. According to the audit report, hardly any public school has robust security measures in place which puts them at significant risk.
The interior department has brought the violation of the standard operating procedures (SOPs) by the government schools under the notice of education and police departments, and commissioners of ten districts.
During the audit, the interior department inspected 1,025 schools in Gujranwala, 745 in Multan, 490 in Sheikhupura, 465 in Rawalpindi, 457 in Sargodha, 450 in D.G Khan, and 415 in Sahiwal, 360 in Faisalabad, 313 in Bahawalnagar and 129 in Lahore.
Of the 4,894 schools inspected in ten districts, 1,069 are without boundary walls and 254 have no CCTV cameras while 4,210 schools have no walkthrough gates. Security guards of nearly 40 schools are carrying non-functional firearms while guards of 12 schools have no metal detectors.
Moreover, 4,827 schools have no scanners while security guards at 854 schools let visitors go inside school premises without physical search whereas 263 schools fail to maintain a record of visitors. 1,626 schools have no bunkers at the entry/exit points.
2,013 schools have no backup security, 586 have no sentry units, and 500 have no emergency exits. Only 1,871 schools have staff members that have ever taken security training. 3,333 schools have no wireless security system and 3,844 do not have walkie-talkies. Security guards of 454 schools do not have any emergency plan while guards of 536 schools are unaware of the security situation in Punjab.
Not a single school has a central control room to keep an eye on the situation. None of the schools have installed panic buttons or emergency alarms in case of an emergency.
The interior department has recommended that all public schools should implement security measures laid down in the SOPs.
In response to the audit report, the Education department complained about inadequate funds to enforce security measures in accordance with the SOPs. The education department has demanded that the government should release sufficient funds to ensure security on campuses so that students can pursue their education without any fear.