Protection first : Schools told to spruce up safety measures

LAHORE:13 November: The Punjab School Education Department (SED) has directed officials to ensure safety and security of students in public and private institutes of all 36 districts of the province. The orders came after reports of a death of a child surfaced when a wall of a school collapsed in Bahawalpur. The letter said, “It has been reported that a wall of a private school named Ahmed School Education System, BindraPulli, Baqarpur Road, Usman Colony, Bahawalpur collapsed and a student died while several others injured. The school is a partner school of Punjab Education Foundation (PEF).” The letter sent by the SED Secretary Dr Allah Baksh Malik said that the competent authority has taken a serious view of this incident and was issuing several instructions in its wake. The letter holds chief executive officers (CEOs) of district education authorities (DEAs) responsible for schools in their jurisdiction. “CEOs of DEAs shall ensure that all schools under their respective jurisdictions are safe and secure,” it said. “CEOs are required to give a certificate in this regard after satisfying themselves. In case a school is not up to the mark, in terms of safety and security of students, the registration of the school shall be cancelled and the institute must be sealed immediately.” 17 private schools fined for unauthorised fee increases “The CEOs and DEAs shall ensure the premises of schools are safe and sound before granting registration. Structure Stability Certificate must be sought from school owners.” It states dangerous school buildings must not be used for any activity involving students and schoolchildren should not be allowed to enter any such structures. “These dangerous public and private school buildings may be repaired/reconstructed on a top priority basis. Shabby boundary walls may be rebuilt ensuring safety of students,” it instructs. Other safety measures include ensuring electric wiring and motor pumps in schools are maintained and there be no risk of an electric short circuit. It said that the officials should ensure that drinking water in schools was not contaminated and water tanks were covered and maintained to avoid any risk of contamination. The letter said that safe exit of students should also be ensured. “For this, a teacher should be deputed daily on the exit.” It added that schools providing transportation for students must obtain a fitness certificate of the vehicle. The letter instructs that all school vehicles should be in good condition and safe for travel.The news.

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