Call for lockers to relieve students

Vicky Wong

STUDENTS should be given lockers to help reduce the daily burden of books they must carry to and from school, teachers' representative Cheung Man-kwong said yesterday.

Around 50 primary school children and their parents from the Hongkong Boys and Girls Clubs Association petitioned the Legislative Council yesterday, calling for moves to lighten their heavy school bags.

Seven-year-old Chan Taz-man, who will be a primary three student in September, said she became exhausted after carrying her school bag, which weighed more than six kilograms.

''Sometimes I hate going to school, while at the other times I don't want to do my homework because I feel exhausted after school hours,'' said Taz-man.

She and her 10-year-old sister Taz-lun went to school by bus, and their mother carried their bags for them from their home to the bus stop.

But Taz-man said she had to carry her bag all day, including up the stairs to her second-floor classroom.


''I am a little bit frightened of my future years because the higher the class we are in, the higher we have to climb up, and the more books we have to bring with us,'' she said.

Taz-lun, who will soon begin primary five, said she had to carry more than 20 books every day, and next term this would be increased by four to five attainment test books.

Teachers told them to bring many books that weren't even used, and if they didn't have the right books they would get a mark on their report card.

Taz-lun said she had pains in her shoulder muscles after carrying her bag up to her fifth-floor classroom.


''I also have to carry coloured pencils, hymn books, a bottle of water and sometimes even the dictionary with me,'' she complained.

''I want to have a little cupboard in the classroom, and wish our books could be thinner,'' she said.


Their mother, Mrs Chan Mak Sau-chun, was particularly worried about their physical development being affected by the heavy bags.

''Many of the children cannot even stand up straight. Sometimes I tell them to bring fewer books, but they tell me they will be punished by the teachers,'' Mrs Chan said.