The Assistant Commissioner Karachi Gulzar e Hijri has sealed The Harracks School on the report of the Directorate of Inspection and registration of Private Institutions Sindh (Dirpis).

On Friday the Dirpis officials after investigating a complaint suspended registration of the school after they found hidden CCTV cameras installed in washrooms of the said school.

The school is located in Scheme 33 near Safora Goth Karachi. This week, on Wednesday, one of the school teachers named Rehana Feroz registered a complaint to the directorate requesting the concerned officials to look into the matter and take strict action against the school administration.

Upon, the Dirpis officials immediately constituted an inquiry committee comprising officers of the directorate and one teacher of the school. The committee, on the same day, visited the school in order to probe into the facts of allegations leveled against the school administration.

During the visit, the committee observed that the allegations were correct. “Hidden CCTV cameras were installed behind a sheet holes in the area of washroom situated with toilets of girls and boys washroom so that one can easily watch the movement of male and female students and staff”, the committee report reveals.

Later, the committee submitted its report to the concerned authority after which the Dirpis officials issued a show-cause notice to the school administration to appear before the inquiry committee and explain its position on Thursday. The school owners were also informed if they failed in appearing, an ex parte decision would be taken against the school.

However, the school administration didn’t bother to attend the inquiry and explain its positions. In response, the Dirpis Director Dr Mansoob Hussain Siddiqui issued a circular informing the school management that its registration has been suspended which was issued on May 22, 2019, to The Haracks School’s owners.

The All Private Schools Management Association Sindh Central Chairman Syed Tariq Shah in statement said that he condemns such a criminal act committed by the private administration. “It’s the key responsibility of all educators to provide a safe environment to their students and teachers. No one should be allowed to install cameras in washrooms”, said Shah, added; “none of the private school associations will support the school management involved in such criminal activities. We will investigate the case and after that a detailed statement will issued”.

Late on Friday evening, a mob gathered outside the school. They were chanting slogans against the school owners. In video footage circulated on social media shows that some of the protesters were climbing the main gate to enter the school campus.

Meanwhile, the FIA Cyber Crime took note of the incident. In a statement, Additional Director Cyber Crime Imran Riaz said that hidden cameras and recordings fall within the jurisdiction of FIA’s cybercrime. This was a sensitive matter. The FIA team will visit the school to further investigate the matter after getting access to the recordings and other details.

Likewise, the FIA team will also obtain details of the inquiry committee formed by the Dirpis. However, the education department has already requested the FIA Cyber Crime to probe investigation into the matter.

Author

Arshad Yousafzai is a Karachi-based journalist covering Education and Human Rights. He can be reached on Twitter @Arshadyousafzay

Write A Comment