School books made too heavy

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 13 December, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 13 December, 1994, 12:00am

I REFER to the letter 'Lockers only partial solution', by Ng Yuk-fong (South China Morning Post, December 3).

I agree that the promised provision of more lockers in schools does not completely close the chapter on the problem of heavy schoolbags. It is a problem both primary and secondary school students face and it leads to injuries to the backbone.

In my school, things have improved on the locker front, with more made available to students this term, but it is not a complete solution. The publishers of textbooks must share some of the blame for making schoolbags so top-heavy. Many textbooks have more illustrations than is necessary. Publishers often use expensive paper, which is glossy and heavy. The weight of these damages students' spines and constant reading of glossy pages strains the eyes.

Publishers should only use illustrations deemed to be essential to an understanding of the text.

Also, while the supply of lockers has increased, there are still not enough and students have to share, which is often impractical. The education authority's target should be a locker for each pupil.