Gun along with pen

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has decided to allow employees of all educational institutions, including teachers, to carry licensed arms on the premises to respond in case of a terrorist attack.

Provincial Information Minister Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani disclosed that the provincial cabinet has decided to allow teachers and other staff members to keep their licensed weapons with them so that in case of any eventuality they could engage attackers for initial five to 10 minutes before personnel of law-enforcement agencies will show up to respond to the attack. Earlier, educational institutions had been directed not to reopen campuses unless they fully carried out the government’s security guidelines. Suggested security measures include installation of CCTV cameras, deployment of more guards, and the fixing of razor wires on boundary walls.

This decision of the provincial government has raised many eyebrows. Providing arms to the teachers would affect the overall environment of the educational institutes and would leave negative impacts on the students.  What is the lesson for students, that we are a society that we cannot even provide a weapons free learning environment to them? Second, usually terrorists are highly trained and equipped with advanced weapons, would it not be hard for the untrained teachers to fight with terrorists with pistols? If you want to provide guns to the teachers, correct way to go about this would be to train the teachers and staff in handling hostile situations, in hiding, escaping and having an established evacuation plan.

Real problem is that the state is putting the bulk of the responsibility of protecting schools on the schools themselves and their employees, when this is not their job. It seems that government has failed to provide the security to the masses and trying to escape from its prime duty by pushing the real issue under the carpet.

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