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After-class Activities to Benefit Youngsters

The extracurricular education of primary and middle school students has been targeted by the municipal government of Beijing, to educate youngsters on social values, in particular law.

"It is a must for all government departments to optimize the social environment and occupy students' lives after class with beneficial activities," said Vice-Mayor Lin Wenyi.

China's minors are influenced by the country's recent social and economic changes, explained Lin.

Due to this, juveniles will be one of the main targets of law education in a five-year plan, starting this year, by the municipal bureau of justice.

Bureau Director Wang Chongxun Tuesday emphasized that law education to children aged 7-18 should focus on minor self-protection, guilt prevention and abiding by social order according to law.

Beijing's primary and middle schools have established law classes and invited special guests from departments of public security, procuratorate and courts, according to Wang.

The government's recognition is partly due to a great number of suggestions from deputies to the Beijing People's Congress (BPC) and members of the Beijing People's Political Consultative Conference (BPPCC) on how to improve the after-class education.

Born generations after China began to reform and open to the outside world, the minors, many of whom are only children, have received an excessive amount of nurturing from the family, school and the society, compared with elder generations.

Due to this, they lack a sense of self-support, competitive strength, collective spirit and devotion, according to a proposal by BPC.

"Education committees should be established in residential communities to develop extracurricular activities and provide psychological consultation to minors," advised 10 deputies to the congress in a proposal to the municipal government.

Backing the proposal, the municipal government has decided to establish a community education system, according to Lin.

Finding sites for extracurricular activities, and providing sex education are now the two main concerns for the BPC and BPPCC.

A total of 16 Beijing-based universities have opened up more than 60 key laboratories to some 100 primary and middle schools for scientific activities, according to Lin in a report to the BPC earlier this month.

Beijing's Dongcheng District has provisionally held sex education lessons in five middle schools, after an investigation by the district people's political consultative conference.

According to the survey, many middle school students lack sexual knowledge, such as sex physiology, sex psychology, sex morality and AIDS.

(China Daily 08/08/2001)

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