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September 17, 2011

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Kindergarten blocks quilt watchdogs

QUALITY watchdogs springing a surprise check on children's quilts found themselves barred from a kindergarten on Thursday.

Kindergarten officials said yesterday that it was too dangerous and disturbing to allow "a crowd of strangers" into a facility catering to hundreds of children for an unannounced inspection.

The quality and supervision bureau officials admitted that kindergartens had the right to refuse entry on safety grounds unless police also attended.

Frequent reports of Chinese schools and universities using poor-quality quilts has led to the city's quality watchdog strengthening its monitoring of such products.

Zhao Yang, a watchdog official, said, "Since it was a surprise check, we did not inform the kindergarten or the education authority beforehand."

But the lack of notice resulted in the inspectors, some in uniform, being barred from entering Nanmen Kindergarten in Pudong.

A kindergarten official said: "When they knocked on the door, the children were having their afternoon nap. We did not know where these people came from or who they were. How could we allow them in?"

She added: "If the education watchdog, our supervising authority, had informed us of such a check, we would have given full cooperation. All the quilts here were purchased through certified channels."

The quality bureau said it was working on ways to avoid this dilemma in future.

On the same day, officials visited Chuansha Bilingual Kindergarten, also in Pudong, which has previously been found using substandard quilts. The latest inspection showed children were now using quilts brought from home.


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