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A factory placed a mannequin on fire safety on ‘duty’ and students turn train carriage into a mobile classroom. Photo: Handout

Quirky China: Chinese factory uses mannequin as ‘fire warden’, pupils use train bench as homework desk, school lets kids wear hanfu clothes

  • A Chinese factory is under investigation for using a mannequin to ‘operate’ its fire safety control centre
  • Students have brought their own stools on a train so they can get more homework done

A Chinese factory is under investigation after leaving a mannequin “on duty” in its fire safety control centre.

The Nantong firefighting authority in eastern China’s Jiangsu province sent officers to investigate the unnamed factory earlier this month after being tipped off, the Beijing Youth Daily reported.

The fire control centre monitors fire alerts automatically sent by alarms installed across the factory and is required to be manned at all times by a human operator who can respond quickly in case of any emergencies.

Surveillance video records revealed that a mannequin wearing a blue uniform in a wig and a cap had been placed on a chair in the control room.

Authorities were tipped off about the ruse. Photo: Baijia

The factory’s manager told the newspaper that they used the mannequin because the factory was short-staffed.

“We had no other options, therefore came up with this bad idea,” the manager said. “We will correct the problem and we promise it won’t happen again.”

Students ‘seize every minute to study’

Three primary school students have triggered a public debate after bringing small stools on a subway to sit on while doing homework on a train bench.

Last week, a short video clip of the three students sitting on the stools while using the seats of the train as desks in Chengdu, in China’s southwestern Sichuan province, was widely circulated, The Paper reported.

“When I got on the train, I saw these primary school students. They were writing their homework, and occasionally chatting with each other,” said a man, surnamed Wang, who took the video.

While most praised the kids work ethic, a few were critical. Photo: The Paper

Some who viewed the video praised the students for their diligence.

“That’s how a child becomes an elite student,” one person commented.

But some were quick to criticise the students.

“It’s not necessary to do that. It’s not beneficial for the students’ physical and mental health,” another user said.

“Isn’t there a risk they will fall down when the train suddenly stops or starts to move? I don’t understand why young pupils have to seize every minute to study,” a third user commented.

Much ado about hanfu

A primary school in Shijiazhuang, northern China’s Hebei province, has been praised for letting its students voluntarily wear traditional Chinese Han-style clothes, known as hanfu, one day a week.

Since March students of this school, whose name was not released, have been allowed to wear hanfu on Thursdays in an effort to promote traditional culture, news website reported.

The school said both students and parents supported the decision, and now half of its 200 students wear hanfu garb on the chosen day.

Already half the student body has taken to wearing the traditional clothes at school. Photo: Weibo

The students all wear hanfu attire that looks different from each other’s in terms of style, design and colour, the school said.

Teachers in hanfu dress are also stationed at the school gate to welcome the students, who on arrival follow the traditional ritual of bowing to their elders.

“It’s so great! Hanfu is beautiful! We should not let this traditional clothing disappear from our generation,” wrote one person online.

But others were concerned it would pose an extra financial burden on parents.

“I am concerned that this voluntary action will become compulsory and will increase the financial burden for parents,” one commenter said.