Chengdu en­hances school se­cu­rity

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By HUANG ZHILING in Chengdu huangzhiling@ chi­

Se­cu­rity is be­ing beefed up at schools in Chengdu, Sichuan prov­ince, in re­sponse to the ris­ing tide of ter­ror­ism around the world.

Un­der a new reg­u­la­tion from the city’s ed­u­ca­tion bureau, an age limit of 50 will be set for se­cu­rity guards at all ed­u­ca­tional fa­cil­i­ties, and alarms will be in­stalled at all school gates.

School safety man­age­ment depart­ment chief Lei Jie said the reg­u­la­tion is aimed at en­sur­ing campus safety and was drawn up in re­sponse to the Anti-Ter­ror­ism Law, the first of its kind in­China, which took ef­fect on Jan 1.

“Older peo­ple can­not re­spond quickly in times of emer­gency,” Lei said, adding that campus se­cu­rity had al­ready been strength­ened in the wake of theKun­ming Rail­way Sta­tion knife at­tack in neigh­bor­ing Yun­nan prov­ince on March 1, 2014, which left 29 peo­ple dead and 143 in­jured.

“Chengdu has about 2,000 kinder­gartens and 1,000 pri­mary and high schools. In 2014, those had about 3,000 se­cu­rity guards, but that num­ber is now 8,350,” Lei said.

In ad­di­tion, about 50 per­cent of all kinder­gartens, pri­mary and high schools in Chengdu al­ready have alarm fa­cil­i­ties.

The ad­di­tional se­cu­rity guards were paid for by the lo­cal fi­nan­cial ad­min­is­tra­tion depart­ment af­ter pres­sure from Lei’s bureau and the Chengdu mu­nic­i­pal bureau of pub­lic se­cu­rity, Lei said.

Tang Jingyun, prin­ci­pal of Ji­touHigh School in Chengdu, said the school pre-empted the change by in­stalling alarms on their school’s gates “long be­fore” the reg­u­la­tions were posted on the bureau’s web­site for pub­lic feed­back on July 29.

“When a se­cu­rity guard presses a but­ton, the de­vice alerts the po­lice sta­tion and en­sures that of­fi­cers ar­rive within min­utes,” Tang said.

He Se­qing, the mother of a stu­dent at a ru­ral pri­mary school in Chengdu, said she thinks par­ents would feel more se­cure if schools have guards “who are not merely old keep­ers” and have alarm fa­cil­i­ties “like those in a bank”.

The reg­u­la­tion re­quires school gates to be at least 3.5 me­ters wide to en­able fire en­gines to pass through.

Pub­lic com­ment ended on Aug 8.

Af­ter pub­lic opin­ion is taken into con­sid­er­a­tion, it will be sub­mit­ted to the Chengdu mu­nic­i­pal gov­ern­ment.

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