Strengthened security urged at nation's schools

2019-09-05 16:55:51 China Daily Mo Hong'e

The education supervision office under the State Council, China's Cabinet, has issued an urgent circular asking education authorities, kindergartens, and elementary and secondary schools across the country to strengthen campus safety measures after eight students were killed at a primary school in Hubei province on Sept 2.

The circular, issued on Tuesday night, asked local education authorities to work with public security and market regulation authorities to inspect and eliminate campus safety hazards, focusing on the implementation of safety management policies and safety hazards at campus surroundings, school buses, campus facilities and activity venues.

Local education authorities should make sure that schools are equipped with sufficient security staff and necessary protective equipment. Security staff should better fulfill their duties and prevent hazardous materials or irrelevant personnel from entering the campus, the circular said, adding that unqualified security staff should be fired and replaced.

School surveillance systems should be connected with public security bureaus, and the schools should improve their police alarm systems, it said.

Education authorities and schools were also asked to boost safety education and drills to improve students' survival skills.

The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Public Security on Wednesday held a video conference asking all levels of education officials and school principals to make the safety of students and teachers their top priority.

Everyone should be aware of their responsibilities and how to fulfill them to ensure school safety, the ministries said.

In addition, schools should increase the salaries of their security staff, provide more training and hire more retired soldiers and young people as security guards, they said.

On Sept 2, the first day of school, an attacker killed eight students and injured two others at a primary school in Enshi Tujia and Miao autonomous prefecture, Hubei province, local police said on Tuesday.

The injured students from Chaoyangpo Primary School in Enshi's Baiyangping town were receiving treatment at a hospital, Enshi police said in a statement.

The suspect is a 40-year-old man surnamed Yu, who is in custody and being investigated. The statement did not specify how the students were injured by the suspect nor the motive for the attack.

In recent years, China has seen a number of attacks on school children on campus.

Twenty pupils at a Beijing primary school were wounded in January in a hammer attack that police said had left three seriously injured.

The 49-year-old male suspect surnamed Jia, who was a former repair worker at the school, was detained by police.

In June last year, two children were stabbed to death by a man named Huang Yichuan outside an elementary school in Shanghai. Huang was sentenced to death by a court in May.

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