Schools urged to tackle weighty issue of bags

PUBLISHED : Monday, 06 September, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 06 September, 1999, 12:00am

The Education Department has called on schools and parents to make a concerted effort to reduce the weight of schoolbags.

Principal curriculum planning officer Cheng Sai-man said the department considered it important to obtain support and co-operation from schools and parents.

'We have recently issued a set of updated guidelines on reducing the weight of schoolbags which provide suggestions on how schools can contribute towards the issue,' he said.

The guidelines suggested schools explain to students the possible harmful consequences of heavy schoolbags.

'Students should be encouraged to develop the habit of packing schoolbags every day and discouraged from bringing toys, magazines and unnecessary items to school,' Mr Cheng said.

Timetables should be designed so that students did not have to bring a lot of heavy books and accessories to school, he said.

Among other qualities, schools should consider the weight of textbooks before deciding which textbooks should be used.

They should also avoid using too many supplementary work books and exercise books.

The guidelines also suggested that schools provide students with lockers. Drinking water should also be provided so that students need not carry water to school.

'Parents' co-operation and support should be sought so that the advice given to students at school will be reinforced at home,' Mr Cheng said.

Mr Cheng also urged teachers to avoid penalising students for occasionally failing to bring books or other items to class as students might bring everything to minimise the chance of getting punished.