POST TIME: 23 July, 2016 09:57:54 AM
Sense of insecurity prevails
Teachers and guardians concerned over possible terror attacks

Sense of insecurity prevails

English medium schools in the capital are enveloped in a sense of insecurity as there are apprehensions of further militant attacks in the wake of the incidents at Gulshan and Sholakia. Most of these schools are yet to open after Eid-al-Fitr and even those that have opened are recording fewer numbers of students. While there are apprehensions that English medium schools themselves might be attacked, some guardians were worried that some of the students might be turning to militancy. The authorities are even delaying the reopening dates of the schools. They are keeping the guardians of students updated about the reopening of schools through text messages. “Owing to unavoidable circumstances, Mastermind School will reopen on 31st July instead of 24th July. Parents are kindly requested to collect their child/children every day immediately after school is over for the safety of the students,” said an SMS sent to the guardians by the management committee of Mastermind. According to sources, most of the renowned English medium schools, including Scholastica School, were supposed to be reopened by 18 July. However, they are yet to open. Scholastica delayed its reopening and the scheduled restart of its academic activities to Wednesday, but the school authorities announced closure for another 10 days. The Aga Khan School was supposed to be opened on July 17. But it is yet to be opened and guardians have been informed through text messages that the opening date of the schools would be announced later. Delhi Public School (DPS) is yet to start classes, though it was scheduled to reopen on July 17. There was hardly any guardian or student near the main gate of International Turkish Hope School yesterday. Utter silence prevailed in and outside the school.
“Classes are yet to open. But we are running admission processes and hope to start classes from August 7,” said a teacher. Schools that had started to beef up internal security are also logging fewer students, with unease prevailing among the parents or guardians.
“Before the Gulshan and Sholakia terrorist attacks, we never thought that our institutions might be attacked by the militants and that we would have to run our institutions in a state of panic. After the two major attacks, we have installed some CCTV cameras on our campus, which we had thought unnecessary in the past for an educational institution in a country like ours,” Hasan Mahmud Shakur, a teacher of Life Preparatory School (LPS School) in Uttara told The Independent. “We used to allow the guardians on the school campus. But after the recent terror attacks, we no longer let them inside,” he added. Talking to The Independent, some guardians said they were worried about their children after they came to know that students of English medium schools are getting involved in militancy. “Besides, some public places—Jamuna Future Park and Bashundhara Shopping Mall, for instance—have already received terror threats. It is possible that the attacks could be carried out on schools,” one of them said.
“English medium schools run academic activities following foreign schools’ curricula. Besides, many foreign teachers teach or students study in English medium schools in the capital.  So, it is quite possible that the schools might be targeted by militants,” another guardian observed. On July 4, a post sent from the Twitter account of one Kamil Ahmed claimed, “Next Attack Jamuna Future Park #Mission20July.” Since then, people of the capital have been on tenterhooks, fearing terror attacks on any place of the city. Nibras Islam, one of the Gushan cafe attackers, studied in Turkish Hope School and then studied in North South University. From there, he went on to pursue higher studies in Monash University’s Malaysia campus. Saameh Mubasheer, another attacker, reportedly studied in Scholastica, a top English medium school of Dhaka.