Schools across the country have been urged to draw up safety
plans along with land and resource authorities and weather bureaus
after a tornado killed two school pupils and injured 46 others on
Schools should examine their buildings and grounds for
"geological hazards" with the help of local land and resources
authorities, the Ministry of Education said in a notice issued on
And schools should have better contact with weather bureaus to
ensure they receive early warning when typhoons or tornadoes are
heading their way, the ministry urged.
The notice comes in the wake of the devastation caused by a
tornado which tore through a village school in Sixian County, east
China's Anhui Province early on Thursday morning.
Fourteen-year-old Zhu Jiawei and 13-year-old Bu Haicheng were
killed instantly when their classrooms collapsed -- 44 other pupils
and two teachers were injured.
Last night two students were still in a critical condition but
the remainder are stable according to the local government.
The ministry reiterated in its notice that "schools must stop
using classrooms with hidden dangers and should even suspend
classes if necessary."
School principals and education bureau directors must be held
responsible for such incidents, the notice added.
Last June, a flash flood swept through the town of Shalan in
northeastern Heilongjiang Province inundating a one-storey
primary school. The incident resulted in the deaths of 117 people
--105 of them were school children.
In March ten people were found responsible for the tragedy
including the local Party and police chiefs and received
disciplinary sanctions or one-year sentences for negligence in not
getting prompt assistance to the scene.
With the summer vacation drawing near the ministry also reminded
schools that safety education is mandatory.
Students should watch safety education films in class before the
vacation begins and emergency drills which explain what to do it
case of floods, mudslides, earthquakes and fires have to be held in
both urban and rural schools.
The Ministry of Communications also called for a nationwide
inspection of traffic safety, especially on roads, railways and
bridges on the way to schools and on vehicles and ferries which
(China Daily July 3, 2006)