A police officer gives a training session to campus safety staff in Yuncheng, Shanxi province, in April. BAO DONGSHENG/CHINA DAILY
State Council guideline proposes more cooperation with police, community
Schools will work closely with public security authorities to ensure the safety of students at kindergartens, primary schools and middle schools, under a guideline released recently by the State Council.
Police officers will be invited to work at schools, and some will play the role of a part-time vice-principal to deal with safety on campus and be responsible for reprimanding students who engage in bullying or other acts of violence.
Wang Daquan, deputy director of the Education Ministry's policy and regulation department, said there are many challenges in protecting student safety.
"Schools shoulder too much responsibility in ensuring student safety. Some schools feel so much pressure that they have reduced or even canceled outings to avoid accidents or remote danger," he said.
In a survey led by Yao Jianlong, a professor of law at Shanghai University of Political Science and Law, most of the 1,596 principals nationwide said fear of accidents has made them cut down on certain courses, which in turn has affected normal teaching at their schools.
"More than 60 percent of the principals said they lack necessary support and resources to help them deal with safety issues when they arise," Yao said.
Wang said the purpose of the guideline is to engage more people to make school a safe place, to reduce pressure on the schools.
The guideline also suggested that every school, except for those with a very small number of students, should have its own security guards, among whom at least one should be a professional.
Institutions unable to set up security teams can hire companies to provide such services.
In addition, it was proposed that a "safe area" be set up around schools, and no businesses or facilities that could pose a threat to students' physical and mental health－such as internet bars and lottery shops－would be allowed within the area.
Public security authorities should strengthen patrols around schools, form on-campus safety departments and build an online patrol system, the State Council, China's Cabinet, said.