Beijing suspends for-profit study tours after Asiana crash
Beijing's municipal education authorities have ordered the city's primary and secondary schools to suspend all overseas study tours organised through for-profit tour groups following the deaths of three mainland pupils in an air crash in the United States nearly two weeks ago, the Beijing Daily reported yesterday.
The three high school students from Jiangshan, Zhejiang province were the only fatalities when a Boeing 777 of Korea's Asiana Airlines crash landed and broke apart at San Francisco International Airport on July 6, injuring 182 of 290 passengers. Of the 141 Chinese nationals aboard, more than half were students and their chaperones from Jiangshan and Taiyuan , Shanxi .
Beijing Municipal Commission of Education stipulated in principle that schools should not allow junior pupils at primary schools to join any international exchange programmes.
For higher-grade students in primary schools and those from secondary schools, all such overseas trips should be approved by district education authorities at least six months in advance, according to the report.
Beijing authorities also ruled that all international exchange programmes should be headed by school heads, instead of teachers who usually accompanied such trips.
Schools organising such tours should explain security and insurance details in advance, and sign contracts with parents to specify each side's responsibilities. Heads of schools that failed to observe the new rules would be held accountable, the report said.
There are no official figures on the number of Chinese pupils who attend study tours or summer camps abroad.
A deputy principal at Jiangshan High School, where the three dead girls studied, said it was responsible only for introducing pupils to the programme, while all contracts were between the participants and a consul- tancy.