30 percent schools still vulnerable to dengue


Punjab Education Minister Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman said on Wednesday that 30 percent of private educational institutes have failed to fumigate their campuses. The Punjab government warned to cancel the registration of schools that failed to take preventive measures to cope with dengue. Private school owners, on the other hand, claim that the government had no mechanism to monitor around 6,500 private schools in the city in just four days and that they were taking proper precautionary measures to overcome the dengue threat.
The education minister said that public schools and public and private universities took satisfactory measures to curb dengue and fumigated their campuses but thousands of private schools did not fumigate even once. Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said that only those educational institutions would be allowed to reopen on September 24, which had implemented the instructions issued by the government to eradicate dengue.
All Pakistan Private School Management Association (APPSMA) President Adeeb Javedani asked the government as to how it would be able to check more than 6,000 schools in just a few days and also requested the government to give more time to schools to take adequate preventive measures.
An official of the Beaconshouse School System said that the school had already been sprayed three times since the orders of the Punjab government and there was no reason to extend the holidays.
The education minister told Pakistan Today that a proper monitoring mechanism was developed, as the Punjab government had formed 150 teams at the union council level and 23 teams in the Cantonment to check the dengue outbreak. He said that schools would need monitoring before reopening and that the Punjab government would publish advertisements to caution private schools for the minimum preventive measures which include fumigation, having spray machines and other steps to stop the breeding of dengue mosquitoes.
Parents and students expressed their concerns over the uncertain situation and repeatedly requested the Punjab government to take a final decision regarding the reopening of educational institutions. A mother of three students, Mrs Saqib, told Pakistan Today that she feared to send her children to school, as school owners were reluctant to take reasonable precautionary measures for eradication of dengue.
A father, Umer, said that more holidays would deprive students of ample academic time, as there were a large number of holidays during the academic year. He said that although the government seemed serious about putting an end to the breeding of dengue mosquitoes in schools, it should also assist the private educational institutes to buy insecticides and spray machines.
Lahore Education Executive District Officer (EDO) Pervez Akhter issued show cause notices to around 500 private schools after they failed to fumigate their campuses. He also warned private school owners that their registration would be cancelled if they failed to fumigate their schools.