Bags of ideas

PUBLISHED : Monday, 31 October, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 31 October, 1994, 12:00am

I REFER to the letter, 'Give all students lockers' (South China Morning Post, October 19).

Your correspondent will be pleased to learn that the Education Department is in the process of providing lockers to all existing public primary schools which have indicated a need.

It is estimated that the supply can commence in early 1995. The department will progressively extend the supply to other primary schools as additional funding becomes available, and all new primary schools completed after September 1995 will have lockers.

The Education Department is very concerned about heavy school bags and has issued guidelines suggesting solutions. These include: developing in students the habit of packing bags every day; advising students on the types of school bag to use, and the correct posture in carrying them; obtaining the support of parents so that advice given to students will be reinforced at home; avoiding timetables which require students to carry a large number of books on any one day; considering the weight of textbooks against their other qualities before choosing them; providing facilities for students to store books, stationery and personal items; and avoiding penalising students for occasionally failing to produce books.

Staff of the Education Department have also held discussions with publishers on measures to reduce the weight of textbooks. We hope that with the support and co-operation of principals, publishers, teachers, parents and students, the problem can be reduced.