GPS cellphone scheme aimed to keep Beijing's school kids safe

11:32, January 09, 2011      

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Beijing Red Cross Foundation (BRCF) will offer 20,000 GPS cellphones to the city's primary and secondary school students for their safety.

In addition to talking and text message functions, the watch-shaped cellphone allows parents to locate where their children are, according to officials with the Hongxian Fund under BRCF.

To ensure undistributed study, students will not be allowed to use the cellphones after they enter their school unless in an emergency, BRCF said on its website.

Parent's positive feedback from a trial run in Beijing encouraged the organization to launch the scheme.

A Beijing resident surnamed Li said his son had one during the test-run period and it was very helpful.

At least 200,000 children go missing in China each year, and face many other safety risks, said Yu Ruiling, BRCF's secretary general.

The GPS cellphone is expected to help reduce the risks, Yu said.

Beijing residents are now able to apply for the cellphone for their school going kids, via the official websites of www.brcf.org.cn and www.hongxianjijin.com. or visit their offices.

The cellphone costs 840 yuan (nearly 127 U.S. dollars) for two year's GPS and telecommunication services, according to the fund.

More cellphones will be offered according to demand, it said.

The fund, jointly established by BRCF and a Beijing-based technology firm, plans to provide such phones to more Chinese regions.

Fatal school stabbings, stampedes and other school yard incidents across China have stunned the public and made parents and children anxious, calling for intensified measures to protect children's safety.

Source: Xinhua
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