Beijing, China: Schools in Beijing, China, are giving GPS-equipped mobile phones to students, as China seeks to tackle issues like missing children and campus violence. Beijing Red Cross Foundation distributed the first batch of 20,000 GPS phones, which can be worn as a watch, to primary and middle school students over the weekend, the Global Times reported.
“This programme aims to improve the safety of children in Beijing as campus violence is on the rise,” the paper cited Liu Quan – an official heading the programme.
At least five major attacks took place at Chinese schools from March to May last year, killing 17 people — including 15 children — and injuring more than 80. And according to the Beijing Red Cross, 200,000 children are reported missing in China annually, while some 600,000 remain missing, the paper said.
Although the phones were offered to the students free of charge, parents have to pay an 800-yuan (approx USD 120) service fee over two years, it said. More than 100,000 phones are expected to be distributed in Beijing this year.
China has long suffered from abductions of children, with boys frequently wanted to fulfil the traditional need for a male heir.
Source: Channel NewsAsia