Chinese schools gear up for new semester with strengthened safety measures

(Xinhua) 16:57, August 31, 2023

BEIJING, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- With the approach of the 2023 autumn semester, schools in China are meticulously making their final preparations to welcome students, placing significant emphasis on students' safety on and off campus.

For schools in regions affected by extreme weather events, the top priority is to restore the campuses as quickly as possible and ensure teaching activities can be carried out as per schedule.

In northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, staffers at Shangzhi City Experimental Primary School have been actively engaged in repairing the aftermath of the recent flood that affected the province.

The staff members have spent days clearing away sludge, sanitizing the campus and replacing electrical cables damaged by the floodwater. "We are seizing every minute to repair the damage, so the children can safely return to school on time," said Gao Yongjia, headmaster of the school.

According to the Ministry of Education, more than 3,200 schools in eight provincial-level regions were affected by the flood, with about 30 percent of them determined severely damaged.

It is expected that 90 percent of these severely damaged schools will be able to complete campus restoration work in time and welcome students for the new semester. For the rest of the schools, teaching activities will resume in alternate locations.

Apart from offsetting the impact of extreme weather, schools across the country have also adopted a range of measures to diminish all types of safety hazards, including the installation of improved fire extinguishing equipment, the demolition of dilapidated buildings, and comprehensive inspections of electrical wiring and building structures.

School personnel also underwent training sessions aimed at bolstering their abilities to respond effectively to emergencies. In Chengdu, located in Sichuan Province, more than 140 teachers from primary and secondary schools in Chenghua District received training in emergency first-aid protocols, encompassing techniques like cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs).

Students who study at boarding schools spend most of their time on campus, and teachers must take up the responsibility to keep them safe, said Zhong Hongying, a teacher from Chengdu No. 49 Middle School. She added that the training sessions helped her become more prepared for emergency situations.

In the meantime, relevant authorities also stepped up efforts to address safety concerns around campuses, such as traffic, food and stationery quality, and off-campus tutoring.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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