A recent security audit of Category A educational institutions in Punjab has shown serious lapses in security, as more than half of the security guards deployed in educational institutions have not been vetted by the security agencies as per the Standard operating procedure (SOPs).

According to the security audit conducted in the month of September after re-categorization of educational institutions, the province was divided into 10 regions with Gujranwala having the most A Category educational institutions – 1,025. While Lahore had the least number of A Category educational institutions – a mere 129.

The assessment was based on 11 security parameters with educational institutions showing improvement in 7 parameters overall, however, most sub-categories as well as overall improvement was negligent or had deteriorated.

The audit pointed out 5 areas where security was needed to improved and had deteriorated as compared to the last audit. These included lack of boundary wall, no razor wire on boundary wall, no security guard deployed, no search sweep of vehicles and lack of a sniper.

The report also showed that overall 54 percent or 2,748 institutions educational institutions had hired security guards who had not been vetted by security agencies. Moreover, 40 institutions where weapons were not functional, CCTV cameras were not installed in 24 institutions, 4,210 institutions had not installed walk-through gates, 3,333 did not have wireless communication system, 2,748 institutions had not had the security agencies vet laborers working at their premises and 254 institutions had not their security guards trained by the police among other deficiencies.

 The audit report was sent to the Secretaries of the Punjab School Education Department, the Punjab Higher Education Department, commissioners of all divisions, capital city police officers and regional police officers in the province.

In a letter issued by the Punjab School Education Department to all Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of District Education Authorities (DEAs) in the province, the department directed to ensure “extreme vigilance and heightened security measures at all levels” must be adopted as per the SOPs of the Home Department. Furthermore, the letter asked the CEOs to remove any deficiency in the security of schools.

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