Students must learn safety education, experts say

Updated: 2016-01-28 15:25

By Zhou Wenting(

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Children aged from 6 to 18 should receive safety education that will benefit them for a lifetime, lawmakers and political advisers said in Shanghai.

"We must make sure that when disasters happen, kids can protect themselves with the knowledge and skills that they've gained," Jing Ying, a local political adviser, said during the ongoing annual sessions of the municipality's legislative and advisory body, which opened on Saturday.

Tragedies such as traffic accidents, safety incidents, food poisoning and drowning took the lives of roughly 16,000 children around the country annually in the several past years, according to a report by People's Daily.

At least five stampedes in elementary schools were covered by media reports. The tragedies resulted in 12 deaths and more than 140 injuries.

The China Youth and Children Research Center said in a report that lack of safety had become the top cause of death of children under age 14 in China.

"However, 80 percent of the accidents could have been prevented with proper knowledge," said the report.

Jing suggested that students in different age groups receive regular and compulsory safety education in rescue, first aid, fire escape and traffic safety.

"A panel of experts outside school, including professionals from disaster prevention and relief, police, sports, health, environmental protection as well as firefighters, emergency care personnel, lifeguards at swimming pools, electricians and elevator repairmen are suggested as possible lecturers," said Jing, who is deputy counsel at the Shanghai Municipal Foreign Affairs Office.

"Safety education should also be carried out with actual exercises and on-site visits to ensure that it is practical and operational," she said.

Guo Xiong, a deputy to the Shanghai People's Congress and principal of Shanghai Yan'an High School, said it is important to give intensive and repeat training to children and let them develop automatic responses.

Guo said the city's education authority attaches great importance to safety education and requires all primary and high schools to regularly talk about safety in and out of school. All the students at the Yan'an boarding school participate in an evacuation drill once a week, according to Guo.

"It'll be better that such education can be developed into as a fixed course every week. In Japan, students have textbooks on safety education," he said.