Islamabad: In the aftermath of deadly Peshawar school carnage that killed over 140, mostly innocent children, authorities in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have taken exceptional security steps as precautionary measures, that include arming of teachers.
Aggravated security measures at schools come in the face of several threats reportedly being received by the schools. According to a CNN report, there have been instances when empty coffins were received by school principals as threatening symbol of more dangers that may lie ahead.
As a part of extraordinary security measures clamped in the aftermath of the brazen Taliban assault on Peshawar's Army Public school, teachers with firearm licenses have been allowed to carry guns in the schools.
Teachers are also being imparted basic weapons training sessions in which they are taught how to use arms like pistol and AK 47.
The first ones to receive training are eight women teachers of Frontiers College, who will be instructed by a retired Army officer and a female police officer.
The decision to arm the teachers was made by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's IG Nasir Durrani.
Among other measures taken to beef up security at schools are, setting up of surveillance cameras, barbed wire fences and snipers.
The schools that were closed in the aftermath of the deadly attack, reopened on January 12. According to a report in Dawn news, only those schools were allowed to reopen that fulfilled a set of security requirements like CCTVs and higher boundary walls. Other schools, that lacked the stipulated set of security criteria, were not given the NOCs (No-Objection-Certificates) and hence could not reopen.
According to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government, schools were also provided mobile phones through which by pushing a button will inform the law enforcing agencies.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has reportedly shelled out a total of seven billion rupees ($69 million) on enhancing security of some 35,000 government-run schools in the province.
An entire nation was shaken as a bunch of Taliban suicide bombers barged in Pashawar's Army Public school by jumping the graveyard wall, and slaughtered almost 150 innocent souls (nearly all of them children).
The grisly attack not only shocked the nation but also drew condemnation from across the world.
The attack was claimed by Pakistan Taliban, which said that the attack was in revenge for the Pakistani Army's operation in North Waziristan, South Waziristan and Khyber agency that killed the militants' families.