How schools can cope with increasing violence

Published: September 25, 2011
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CAS school’s library and classrooms were badly damaged in the recent bomb blast at CID police official Chaudhry Aslam Khan’s house. PHOTO: NEFER SEHGAL/EXPRESS

Living in Karachi is no mean feat. And the recent bomb blast that targeted CID police official Chaudhry Aslam Khan’s house in the Defence Housing Authority and claimed eight lives is a recent reminder of that.

It is unfortunate and rather alarming, that the area is home to many schools. The CAS, being one, suffered heavy damage because of which the school was closed for a few days.

Considering the current scenario, it is pertinent that children are made more aware of what to do in an emergency situation and for this, schools should offer first-aid workshops and make attendance mandatory for at least those enrolled in higher classes. These workshops should cover the basics of how to react in case of a fire, a bomb blast or a raid. They should also include basic steps to help potential victims who may have been injured. Things like remaining calm, calling for help and calling out to the victims are basics that every child should know.

First-aid kits should be placed at easily accessible points and all students should know where these are. While most schools have fire and earthquake drills, these are not enough in current times because looking at the trend, an earthquake is less likely to happen than a bomb blast in any given area in Pakistan. While this is unfortunate, it is definitely a reality check.

We need to make the younger generation more aware of what to do in a crisis.  A workshop like this would be a good investment because knowledge like this would be helpful for life, in school or elsewhere. In fact, apart from students, teachers and administration members should also participate in such workshops as current times call for every individual to be on the watch.

Such workshops should also include counselling sessions for students who may have gone through trauma either because they lost a close friend, or were close to the site themselves.

Our nation is going through a tough time. While we may not be able to do much about the current political setup, as individuals we can armour ourselves with knowledge. And this knowledge just might help save a life.

Sumaiyya Lakhani

Sumaiya Lakhani

A sub editor for the Sunday pages of The Express Tribune.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.