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China starts nationwide reinforcement project for school buildings
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08:31, May 18, 2009

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The Chinese government has started a three-year nationwide project to reinforce all school buildings with comprehensive anti-disaster capacities, sources with the Ministry of Education said Sunday.

The project will make all primary and secondary school buildings meet the criteria against earthquake, landslide, typhoon and other disasters, no matter what the buildings' nature is, public or private, rural or urban.

According to the project's plan, local government heads will be responsible for accidents in which dilapidated or unsafe school buildings in their administrative areas cause injury or death.

The central government will appropriate eight billion yuan (1.17 billion U.S. dollars) of special fund to support the reinforcement in central and western regions, the key area for earthquake surveillance and protection, and other regions with high risks of disaster.

A special working group in charge of the project will pay intensified supervision over the implementation of the reinforcement, especially on the use of funds.

The qualities of school buildings in southwest China's Sichuan Province had been a major source of discontent and complaint from local parents whose children died in the devastating 8.0-magnitudequake on May 12 last year.

According to the ministry, China's central government has carried out a series of reinforcement and reconstruction projects for rural school buildings since 2001, but a quite number of the repaired buildings did not catch up with anti-quake standards.

Source:Xinhua



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