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Kindergartens scrutinized

China Daily | Updated: 2017-11-30 07:08

Schools, teachers to face probes in response to Beijing abuse case

A task force has been dispatched by the State Council, China's Cabinet, to check on teacher ethics and work styles in kindergartens across the country in an effort to prevent child abuse, the Ministry of Education said on Wednesday.

The State Council has required immediate punishment and rectification of any problems discovered during the inspections to prevent children from being hurt at kindergartens and ensure their safety and health, the ministry said in a notice released on its website.

The move follows reports of child abuse at the RYB Education New World Kindergarten in Beijing's Chaoyang district last week. Xiao Wen, director of Chaoyang's Education Commission and two other commission officials are being investigated for their negligence in handling the RYB case.

Investigations showed that a female teacher surnamed Liu, 22, is accused of using sewing needles to "discipline" children who would not sleep and Liu has been detained by police in Chaoyang, the district's public security bureau said in a release.

Also in its release, the Chaoyang public security bureau said online claims about children being collectively molested were rumors started by two women.

One woman, 31, was detained on an allegation of fabricating facts and disturbing public order. The other, 29, was given a warning and apologized on her personal social media account, police said without elaborating about the two women's identities or their motives for making the claims.

The police said the hard disk holding surveillance videos of the classroom had been damaged because of frequent forced power outages by a staff member after school, adding that police found no evidence of child abuse after viewing 113 hours of restored videos.

According to Beijing News, the Beijing Education Commission has started an inspection of the surveillance systems at all kindergartens in the city to make sure the devices are installed and functioning properly.

Regarding news reports saying a parent had claimed his child was fed unidentified white pills, the bureau said in its news release that the child's father, surnamed Gou, admitted his child had not been treated that way. Rather, it said, he had told his child to make the claim.

However, questions still remain about how police investigated the incident and made their conclusions. People are calling for more details to be released and more explanations to be made.

RYB Education Inc, the parent company of the kindergarten involved, released a letter on Wednesday apologizing and saying it didn't expect forgiveness but would upgrade its surveillance system and try to make the operation of its kindergartens "as transparent as possible".

China Daily - Xinhua

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