Standard Operating Procedures(SOP) on the response to a terrorist attack have been sent to schools in the wake of the Taliban massacre of 148 people, mostly children, in Peshawar on Tuesday.
     
Measures like installing CCTVs and a concrete boundary wall, with three to four gates and each gate manned by at least three guards on a 24-hour basis, have been also listed.
    
The SOPs relate to preventive steps, drills for children, teachers and security staff in case of a bid for kidnapping, random firing, armed intrusion for hostage taking and explosives attacks, besides other violent actions.
    
Principals have been requested to read carefully the SOPs, prepared by the Home Ministry and circulated by the Central Board of Secondary Education, and bring it to the notice of all staff and teachers of the schools and develop a comprehensive action plan to implement the guidelines, official sources said.
    
"Each school should have concrete boundary wall, with three to four gates and each gate should be manned by at least three guards on a 24-hour basis. Details of telephone number of the Police Control Room and local police station should be maintained and updated regularly by the school authorities," the SOPs said.
    
There should be proper illumination along the perimeter so that nobody can jump over the wall into the school in the night for any nefarious activity. Concertina wire may be fixed on the iron grills above the boundary wall to deter any one from jumping over the wall.
    
In the SOPs, the schools have been advised to install CCTV systems all along the boundary as well as some additional locations inside the premises, to monitor the movement of any suspicious person, with recording facilities for the last three days, at least.
    
The CCTV system alarm may also be connected to the identified gates to close them automatically.
    
In case armed terrorists manage to enter the school and hold teachers/students/others hostage, inform the police immediately, initially all children and teachers should stay back in their respective rooms and those in veranda, etc. rush to the nearest room, and not to indulge in any rash act in panic like running out towards door to escape, etc., it said.
    
They should close the doors from inside and lie low in the classroom to escape random firing, the SOPs said.
    
A centralised alarm system and also a PA system, through which classes can be addressed collectively as well as individually and selected combination should be installed, it added.

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