Shanghai schools upgrade student IDs

By Lu Chen Source:Global Times Published: 2012-10-25 22:50:14

Local schools began issuing uniform, chip-embedded student identification cards in two districts Thursday to replace the current paper IDs, the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission announced on its official microblog.

The new cards, which hold a built-in microchip to store information, will serve a variety of functions for local students and their schools, as well as standardize student IDs across the city.

Until now, students and schools in the city have had to deal with at least a couple of documents used to identify students. When students first enter the local education system, they receive a card that serves as proof that they have health insurance under the local social security system. The card has been used as a form of identification. Students don't receive their official student IDs until they reach middle school.

The new cards, which will be issued to both primary and secondary school students, will become the only document used for student identification purposes.

For students, the new cards should cut down some of the confusion over the validity of their IDs when they try to get student discounts in the city, said Ni Minjing, director of the elementary education department at the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission.

Ni said that students are occasionally denied discounts because their IDs are deemed invalid.

With the embedded chip, the new IDs can store information about students' exam scores, extra-curricular activities and health records, according to the education commission.

"It will make it easier for schools to check student records when they transfer from one school to another," a teacher surnamed Gu from the No. 3 Jianghai Primary School in Fengxian district told the Global Times.

The education commission is rolling out the new IDs in phases. Students in Jing'an and Minhang districts are the first to receive the new cards. Schools in the other districts will begin issuing them in December.

Gu said her school has already received a notice about the new IDs and has stopped issuing the old ones.

The commission hopes to expand the card's functions in the future so it can serve as a gate pass, a library card and cash card at school cafeterias.

Although local schools will phase out the older student ID cards, the old cards that students receive when they enter the education system will retain their function as health insurance cards.

Posted in: Society, Metro Shanghai

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