KARACHI: To ensure security of students, private schools in Karachi have started biometric for students. Around 10 major private schools of the city issued a circular on Friday to the parents seeking their permission and consent on installation of biometric system.
"With the growing security concerns, our school would like to introduce biometric system for attendance of students," read a circular issued by a private school.
The circular also stated that parents would get SMS once their child enters or exist the school or if absent for the day.
However, the private schools will charge Rs.200 monthly for every child for this service.
"We have decided to introduce biometric system for students followed by the directives issued from Directorate of Inspection of Private Schools," said principal of private school requesting not to mention her name.
All Sindh Private Schools Association (ASPSA)'s president Haider Ali said that private schools have to take security measures, but they are not allowed to charge any fees for security measures.
"The security of the students is the responsibility of school administration and they are not allowed to take any fees from parents in the name of security," he told Daily Times, adding that biometric system is not that much costly and the schools have to install it on their own.
Confirming biometric system for students of private schools, Director General, Directorate of Inspection of Private Schools, Dr. Mansoob Hussain Siddiqui said that after the security concerns, all schools are notified to make their own arrangements for security including biometric system.
"Followed by recent rumors about the kidnappings of minor children and students, we have conducted several meetings on the issue and have decided to take security measures," Dr Siddiqi told Daily Times.
He said recently Directorate of Inspection of Private Schools issued a notification to the private schools requesting to increase security. Comprises on 16 points, the notification directed the schools management to ensure security. Record of all visitors should be maintained and kept, every employee should display his or her identity card visibly and strictly, hiring of general staff, watchmen to be done only after police verification of the individuals.
"Schools must raise the boundary wall of the institution by up to 10-feet, the water and food items should be sold in the school canteens to make sure nothing harmful is being added into it , the notification stated.
The schools have also been asked to display the Telephone numbers of CPLC, Police helpline, Rangers, Fire department on the notice board and to make sure that the administration knows the names and addresses of nearby hospitals in case of an emergency.
All school administrations were also notified to keep complete information about the number of students and teachers as well as non-teaching staff to the relevant Police stations and to also install walkthrough gates, turnstile and bio-metric verification and CCTV cameras on school premises. Parking of vehicles around the school premises should not be allowed.
The schools were also notified that besides activating parents-teachers association, they must hold emergency drills and also arrange for weapons training for teachers from Police and Rangers.
However, according to the official record, there are 17,000 private schools in Karachi, but out of which only 8,000 schools are registered with the directorate of private education.
In 2014, followed by Army Public School (APS) Peshawar massacre, security measures were taken for schools across Pakistan, including teachers training on weapons and other measures.