GUANGZHOU - Police have urged schools in the southern coastal city of Guangzhou to hire security guards and carry out other precautionary measures to strengthen campus security after a string of school attacks nationwide.
Every school in Guangzhou, capital city of South China's Guangdong province, should improve its security systems, and set up a squad of security guards "if possible," Wu Sha, director of the city's public security bureau, was quoted by local Southern Metropolis Daily on Friday.
Schools also were urged to provide the security guards with protective gear.
Local police will monitor the entrances of schools and kindergartens through video surveillance systems, as well as check public places near the schools, including Internet cafes, food stalls and roller-skating rinks, he said.
More police booths will be set up in areas around schools and kindergartens, and more police will patrol those areas.
Also, public security bureaus will organize safety drills at citywide schools to enhance the students' awareness of safety knowledge and emergency responses.
The city's maritime safety bureau is stationing more maritime police on every ferry, for escorting students who go to school by ferry, Chen Chukun, chief of maritime safety office in the city's Nansha district, was quoted as saying on Friday by Guangdong Television.
Government departments at various levels and schools across China have already boosted efforts to ensure campus safety, after at least eight children died in five school attack cases since March 23.
Shanghai has ordered the city's international schools to strengthen daily patrols and make sure the security equipment is in good condition, the Shanghai Daily reported on Friday.
International schools have also been asked to double-check the qualifications of their security guards. The city has more than 23,000 foreign kindergarten, primary and secondary school students, according to the report.
However, parents and school officials in Guangzhou are worried about how long these measures will last.
"These actions are good but temporary. I hope the local government can figure out some permanent measures to ensure our children's safety," said Guangzhou resident Liao Hui, father of an 11-year-old boy.
"The city has about 20,000 schools, and that means a great number of police are needed under the new measures," said Deng Fangguo, president of the privately-run Guangzhou Siyuan School.