Teachers get gun training after Peshawar massacre

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015 12:52:08 by

PESHAWAR: Teachers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province are being given firearms training and will be allowed to take guns into the classroom in a bid to strengthen security following a Taliban massacre at a school last month.

Heavily armed militants killed 150 people, 132 of them children, in a bloody December 16 attack on an army-run school in Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s capital city.

“Carrying firearms for every teacher is not obligatory, but all those who want to carry firearms to schools willingly will be provided with permits,” Atif Khan, provincial education minister of KP said on Tuesday.

Teachers load magazines into pistols during a weapons training session for school, college and university teachers at a police training centre in Peshawar on January 27, 2015. — AFP
Teachers load magazines into pistols during a weapons training session for school, college and university teachers at a police training centre in Peshawar on January 27, 2015. — AFP

Provincial Information Minister Mushtaq Ghani confirmed the decision, adding that the province was unable to provide police guards for all of its government-run education institutions.

“The number of police in the province is not enough to guard 35,000 schools, colleges and universities — that’s why we have allowed teachers to carry firearms,” Ghani said.

Authorities began training teachers in how to use guns last week and the latest batch of female trainees started learning the ropes on Tuesday.

“It’s a two-day course. We are training them on gun handling and also on [the] procedure of using it,” said Mohammad Latif, a trainer at police headquarters in Peshawar.

Teachers handle various firearms during a weapons training session for school, college and university teachers at a police training centre in Peshawar on January 27, 2015. — AFP
Teachers handle various firearms during a weapons training session for school, college and university teachers at a police training centre in Peshawar on January 27, 2015. — AFP

Pakistan has already strengthened security for schools across the country, including by building elevated boundary walls with steel wire fencing and increasing the number of police. Private schools have been ordered to deploy extra security guards.

Malik Khalid Khan, the president of the Private Schools Teachers Association, opposed the move to arm teachers.

“How is it possible to teach students in a class … holding a gun in one hand and a pen in another?” Khan said.PAKISTAN-UNREST-SCHOOL-EDUCATION

Peshawar News Sources

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