KOTA BARU: Heavy school bags, averaging between 6kg and 10kg, which are lugged around by primary school pupils in the country have the Education Ministry worried.
Deputy Education Minister Chong Sin Woon said a study carried out by the National Union of Heads of Schools showed that Chinese primary school pupils were burdened by the weight of books and other items they carried in their school bags.
“The study, conducted over a period of two months, showed that an average primary school pupil carried 22% of textbooks, 23% extra workbooks, 23% exercise books and a water tumbler, not including the weight of the bag itself.
“This is shocking and the ministry will take note of this seriously and find ways to reduce the burden of pupils,” he told reporters after opening the United National Heads of Schools meeting here yesterday.
According to the study, Chinese primary school pupils, especially in cities, have an average of three workbooks per subject and this increases the weight of the bags to 10kg.
Chong said among the proposals being looked into includes providing lockers in schools.
“The second option is to provide a water filtration system in schools so that the pupils do not need to bring drinking water with them,” he said.
Chong said another option is to provide e-books in the classroom.
But he agreed the method would be expensive to be implemented.
“We need to have a high allocation to do away with textbooks and workbooks,” he said, adding that the ministry would also look into the similar situation faced by pupils in national and Tamil schools.