Schools ordered to hire security guards

Updated: 2013-01-11 02:58

By XU WEI in Beijing and WANG HONGYI in Shanghai (China Daily)

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Responding to an attack last month by a knife-wielding man who injured 23 young students, top law enforcement officials said schools and kindergartens now must have at least one full-time security guard.

A campaign will be launched that targets crime in areas around schools and kindergartens, the officials announced at a meeting in Beijing on Wednesday.

Schools ordered to hire security guards

Officers from the Armed Police and local public security bureau in Jimo, East China's Shandong province, display policing skills to students at the No 3 Experimental Primary School on Thursday. Jan 10 is the 110 Police Hotline Awareness Day in China. [Photo/China Daily] 

Meanwhile, the infrastructure, food, fire and transportation safety around schools and kindergartens will be examined, the People's Daily reported.

The announcements followed an attack by a 36-year-old villager who injured 23 students in a primary school in Guangshan county, Henan province, on Dec 14.

Min Yongjun is alleged to have stormed into the school and stabbed the students.

Local authorities later said Min was found to have "limited criminal capacity", which means Min has mental problems but could still control his actions, Xinhua News Agency reported on Monday.

The Wednesday meeting did not specify the funding source for security guards, and that caused schools in poor areas to worry.

"Right now we are struggling to pay the wages of two substitute teachers, not to mention a full-time security guard," said Ma Guanghui, principal of Mengda Baojie Primary School in Xunhua Salar autonomous county in Qinghai province.

"Hiring a security guard would definitely be a good idea. But it is not possible for us right now unless the authorities can help solve the funding problem," he said in a phone interview.

Beijing municipal authorities started requiring schools and kindergartens to hire security guards in 2010. The capital city's education commission has pledged to provide funding for kindergartens with financial difficulties.

However, primary and middle schools, especially those for children of migrant workers in Beijing, have to pay security guards with their own money.

Zhang Gezhen, principal of Mingyuan School in Haidian district in Beijing, said his school for migrant children has four security guards.

"The wage bill of security guards is a considerable expense for the school as we had to rely on tuition for all expenses. I hope the authorities or non-government organizations will help cover the expenses," he said.

By the end of 2013, Shanghai will provide all its schools and kindergartens with monitoring devices and security personnel, the municipality's education commission said on Thursday.

Since last year, Shanghai has been working to improve security in schools and kindergartens.

Each school and kindergarten will have three or four security personnel, who will receive training from a professional security company.

Schools and kindergartens are also required to strengthen monitoring, and to equip their campuses with alarms and monitoring systems.

By the end of last year, a total of 13,655 security personnel had been allocated to 3,290 middle and primary schools and kindergartens, according to the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission.

A remote control security network has been established by the education and public security authorities, linking the city's 13 districts' schools and kindergartens.

By the end of this year, the rest of the schools and kindergartens in the city will also have finished the security upgrade work and joined the citywide network.

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