The story appears on

Page A4

March 28, 2014

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Metro » Education

Boarding school bans deliveries for its shopping-mad students

WHILE online shopping is undoubtedly a boon for bored students at boarding schools, for campus security guard Lao Wang (not his real name) it used to be a pain in the neck.

During the worst of times, Lao took delivery, on behalf of his young charges, of up to 100 parcels per day. On more than one occasion, his guardroom was jam-packed with boxes of new shoes, clothes, gadgets and whatever else the students had ordered over the Internet.

But thankfully for Wang, all that is set to change. After countless reports of parcel inundation, the high school affiliated to Fudan University has banned its Shanghai native students from having packaged items delivered by courier.

“The problem wasn’t just overcrowding,” Wang said. “I used to spend hours recording all the parcels and who they were for, and then even more time waiting around for the students to come and collect them,” he said.

“We only had two guards on each shift. So if one of us spent all our time on deliveries, how were we supposed to do our patrols around campus?”

Besides interfering with the guards’ duties, there was no way of knowing what was in the boxes, the school said.

“There have been some accidents involving dangerous parcels, so we have to put safety first,” said Yang Liting, a teacher in the moral education faculty.

She said she understands, though, why students enjoy online shopping.

“They’re young and looking for new things,” Yang said.

Along with the ban on deliveries, the moral education department wrote to parents suggesting they teach their children about the perils of online shopping. Some students were noted spending huge sums without their parents’ knowledge, Yang said.

The letter informed parents that with the introduction of the ban, only Tibetan and foreign students are now allowed to have items sent by courier to the school, and even then only at weekends. In exceptional circumstances the ban will be lifted for local students but only if an application is first made in writing by a parent.

Francesca Li, an 11th-grader, said she was disappointed by the ban as boarders often need to buy things online.

“I like reading and I buy a lot of books. If I have to have them sent home and then carry them back to school it will be really difficult. They’re very heavy and take up a lot of space,” she said.

Yang, however, sees it another way.

“There is no need for students to shop online because they get nearly all they need from school,” she said.

“What they don’t have, their parents can bring on their weekly visits.”

Furthermore, the decision was made after discussing the issue with the parents’ committee, she said.

At Shanghai Qibao High School, which has about 4,000 boarders, concerns over safety, as well as the logistical problems, prompted a tightening of the rules on parcel deliveries.

With effect from the new semester, parcels are accepted only from 12 noon to 1pm and 4:30pm to 6:30pm, and students and teachers are responsible for collecting them.

At all other times the school accepts express deliveries only from China Post, which it said it can trust as it is a state-owned company.

Chen Shengri, principal assistant, said: “We used to get a huge number of packages, not only ordered by the students and teachers, but also by parents.”

Some parents would actually have their own parcels sent to the school so that they could pick them up when they came to collect their children, he said.

“Our security guards spent so much time sorting them that they hardly had time to do the jobs we pay them for,” Chen said.

Meanwhile, teachers at the Shanghai Jincai High School have adopted an original approach to reducing the number of parcels they receive.

Whenever a package arrives, the recipient must explain to the class teacher what they have bought and why.

“We used to be inundated with express deliveries but the number dropped quickly after we applied this new technique,” a teacher surnamed Li said.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend