By: Maryam Zeb
With growing fear of terrorism related activities all tiers of society are being affected. Criminal accomplishments are on the verge of increase and there is a dire need for society to address to these issues and adapt lifestyles to counter the imminent threat. Authorities have a prime role to play in curbing crime and terrorism but it’s the citizen`s responsibility too to take measures enabling him to be less prone to damage in terms of life and properties.
In recent past we have witnessed major atrocities being carried out by terrorists against educational institutions whereby targeting innocent citizens, children in one particular case. These events create a grave sense of insecurity among the parents who have a hard time sending their children to schools and other educational institutions. This has created a very unhealthy environment and the sense of fear has engulfed our society. But all is not lost; government along with civilians has taken measures to curb the threat of such events in the future.”Whoever kills an innocent life it is as if he has killed all of humanity..”
Change is a need:
Educational institutes pose a very soft target for the cowardly inhumane savages who are bent upon create havoc and chaos in our country so as to retard the potential and process of development and uplift in various fields. The government has over the years issued various guidelines to educational institutes to minimize the threat and damage. LEAs have adapted to threat accordingly and there are armed patrols of security forces which are mobile or at a standby location and can be called in case of any emergency by dialing the prescribed numbers which are floated to all and sundry. Periodic drills have been carried out and emergencies are enacted in order to practice and rehearse the response of both the school integral security mechanism and the response by the LEAs. The security of schools has been beefed up and schools are required to have armed guards on gates and patrol. In view of the above, a few recommendations can be made.
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Firstly, the armed guards to be present in schools to prevent an onslaught and they should be equipped enough to respond and resist till a time the LEAs arrive at the scene and take over. Perimeters of all campuses to be monitored by guard patrols if possible or at least CCTV cameras so as to closely watch out for any intruders. Secondly, parents and all those who come to pick and drop their children must be identified and registered via some mechanism with the authorities of the certain institute. Children be lectured about panic situations and be briefed about their response in such a scenario. Unauthorized personnel must not be allowed even near the campus. CCTV cameras must monitor the outer periphery of the campus so as keep an eye on any terrorist activity that might take place nearby the campus. Sirens and Emergency Alarms are installed in all buildings so as to alarm all those are inside of an emergency. Finally, numbers of security agencies to be made available to all concerned and integral security guards to be verified and registered because in many cases they prove as facilitators to the terrorists. Contractors like Canteen personnel should be registered and properly verified. Guards should be made part of security drills carried out by the LEAs and various institutes.The above recommendations are a few guidelines in ensuring that such ironic events do not occur in future which might cause loss of precious life and property. We must work together with the authorities in order to improve upon grey areas of our society, of which the security in general and that of our children in particular is of utmost importance.