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Transparent fences aim to up school safety

New schools or those that consider reconstruction will be required to build “see-through” fences that can be seen through in order to protect students from sexual and other violent crimes, officials said Thursday.

In a meeting with school facility officials nationwide on Thursday, the Ministry of Education, Technology and Science asked schools to install 1.8-meter-high transparent fences.

“The measure is aimed at preventing the invasion of outsiders as well as removing a blind spot for children’s safety,” said a ministry official.

“A separate measure will be taken for elementary schools that currently have no fences,” the official said.

The ministry has also newly designated some 600 elementary, middle and high schools located in crime-ridden areas for its tightened school safety measures.

Since the rape case of Kim Soo-chul, who kidnapped a girl in a school playground last June, the government has supported the installation of security offices, automatic gates and CCTVs at 1,000 elementary schools nationwide.

The ministry is also considering turning school safety guards, most of whom are volunteer workers, into paid contract workers who can work before and after classes.

The ministry urged schools to have more than two safety guards so that they can keep watch by turns at vulnerable times such as when students are entering or leaving the school.

“In order to encourage the active participation of individual schools, the ministry will organize a special taskforce and check their operations. Another nationwide inspection is also planned for the second half of the year,” the official said.

By Lee Ji-yoon (jylee@heraldcorp.com)
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