The Struggles in Promoting Safety in Chinese Schools

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BEIJING, China — China boasts a literacy rate of 95 percent, but the Chinese central government still faces a lot of issues when it comes ensuring literacy for the remaining 5 percent. The majority of the illiterate part of the population resides primarily in the country’s poorer provincial areas. One of the main challenges the country faces in raising the levels of education for these areas is addressing precautionary measures for safety in Chinese schools.

Side Effects of China’s Migration Program

Ensuring safety in public education has become a large focus for the Chinese central government, but it goes further than instilling disciplinary measures for students who act violently toward each other. The first step in creating confidence in the quality of safety in Chinese schools, according to Premier Li Keqiang, is by ensuring the safety of the physical location of the school.

If families and students can be reassured about the school’s location, especially in regards to how well the location is predicted to hold up against physical disasters such as earthquakes, the Chinese government believes school attendance will increase in these rural communities. Unfortunately, after the government supported China’s migration program, over-crowding in schools has become a problem in urban areas.

Though the migration program was originally created as a way of decreasing the rate of poverty and increasing the quality of safety in China, many village schools in the poorer provinces have actually been closed down because of the large shifts in the population. The schools that remain open now suffer from underfunded and undersupplied teachers, which also contributes to the poor development of these less economically developed regions.

Ways of Promoting Safety in Chinese Schools

Poor infrastructure is also an issue when trying to reinforce safety in public education. Many schools in rural communities fail to reach the national standard of quality and safety. By directing some of its funds to these schools, the Chinese government hopes to not only increase the quality of these schools but also decrease the number of lawsuits against building designers and their supervisors. This would also close the development gap in urban and rural school systems, especially in places like Tibet, which is reported to have the lowest development level out of all of China’s provinces.

This is not to say that, by focusing on these two issues, China has ignored the issue of safety and security measures within its schools. One of China’s greatest causes of death among its population is the high suicide rate among its teenage population. Bullying has been a prominent issue of Chinese campus security. The problem peaked in April 2017 after a middle-school student jumped to his death as a result of intense bullying.

In an attempt to curb bullying, the Chinese government launched an anti-bullying campaign in its middle and primary schools, which included a safety education course for its students. Additionally, many Chinese public schools revisited and redefined its punishments for students caught bullying or engaging in other violent acts, showing the country’s sincerity to handling this issue.

Overall, the Chinese government is making an effort to address the issues the country faces in education. Hopefully, by making improvements, China will not only increase the quality of safety in Chinese schools in poorer provincial areas but also continue the nationwide war against poverty.

Jordan Melinda Washington
Photo: Flickr

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