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May 3, 2010

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Local schools tighten campus security

SHANGHAI has beefed up school security after the spate of bloody campus attacks around the country in recent weeks.

All 2,700-plus kindergartens, elementary and secondary schools are being equipped with professional security guards carrying batons on duty.

Moreover, kindergartens and schools are required to inform police officers of their school times and any changes of timetable.

"We should take some preventative measures," said Yang Yongming, the Shanghai Education Commission's youth protection division director.

The security step-up comes after five campus attacks in other parts of the country since late March left 10 students and faculty members dead and injured dozens of others.

The Ministry of Education has issued a nationwide alert, requesting school authorities to work with the police officers to step up security after the rash of attacks on children.

Local education authorities ordered schools to employ full-time security guards. The security force expense will be paid by district governments, according to a notice issued by the education authorities.

"Some schools have teachers working as part-time security guards after they've received some training," Yang said.

These schools should replace them with professional guards who have received professional training and hold security guard certificates, he added.

Schools are now using the May Day holiday to check for potential security loopholes and upgrade their security measures for the safety of students and teachers.

In Luwan District, "special teachers will aid professional guards to keep order when parents escort their children to schools or pick up their children from schools," said Xiang Zhaohong, deputy director of Luwan Education Bureau.

Since 2008, Shanghai has equipped all schools and kindergartens with surveillance cameras, Yang said. People visiting a school are asked to register their ID and police officers include campus visits on their rounds.


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