Accidents at schools in Korea increase

Accidents at schools in Korea increase
Students wearing traditional hanbok dresses bow as they attend a graduation and coming-of-age ceremony at the Dongmyeong girl's high school in Seoul on February 12, 2015.

Safety accidents at schools in Korea became more frequent last year despite reinforced efforts to protect children following the Sewol ferry sinking last April that claimed 246 students' lives, statistics showed Sunday.

According to the Ministry of Education, 116,527 accidents occurred at schools in 2014, a 10.9 per cent increase from 2013.

By school type, middle schools saw the most accidents at 39,101, followed by elementary schools (37,075), high schools (31,941), kindergartens (7,602) and special schools (514), said the report released upon request by Rep. Kang Eun-hee of ruling Saenuri Party.

The data also shows most accidents occurred at playgrounds, during physical education classes and while students were carrying and moving objects. Foot injuries were the most common type of accident, according to the data.

The number of accidents during outdoor excursions, on the other hand, reached 1,958, a 29.3 per cent decrease from 2013, partly because schools scaled back field trips following the Sewol incident.

"The number of accidents has increased despite the government's measure to prevent safety accidents. Schools need to pay more systematic attention to address the issue," Kang said.

The rise may also be due to an increase in the number of reported cases to the School Safety and Insurance Foundation, ministry officials were quoted as saying.

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