Textbooks, school activities books, stationery, workbooks, religious school uniforms and co-curriculum, food and beverage supplies can cause school children's health is affected with the heavy loads they carry.
Schoolchildren are forced to climb stairs daily with a heavy bag of 10 kg or more, five days a week. That is the 'forced' scenario faced by primary school children today.
Although our country is still researching, overseas schools, including in India and Australia, have long issued guidelines for teachers and parents overcoming heavy bag problems to school. Singapore has set the bag weight to school should not exceed 10 or 15 percent weight of the students. Rules are made on the grounds of avoiding school children from injuries.
Changes to the running style and incorrect body posture will cause pain in the knee joint. A thigh will be abrasions if children often walk while bending forward to support the weight on the back. Improper body posture position to accommodate the weight of the school bag will put pressure on the spine and cause back pain.
In today's world of science and technology advancement, it is supposed that the government can take a more advanced step by introducing the use of computers or laptops to reduce the use of textbooks. The use of exercise books can also be reduced by using a computer because they do not have to use the exercise book anymore. However training for writing using a pencil is still needed so they are not awkward to write later.
Perhaps the use of computers in Malaysian schools is still minimal but may be for the long term the government needs to plan so that the burden borne by the schoolchildren can be reduced so as not to burden them, not only heavy school bags but the educational system needs to be reviewed to match with the current atmosphere.
Perhaps this is the best way of not only reducing the burden of carrying heavy school bags, but schoolchildren are happy to go to school with an interesting atmosphere to learn.
PAS urged education ministries, educators and parents to play a role in addressing the burden of heavy school bag and can be overcome in the best possible way so that schoolchildren especially primary schools do not carry heavy bags to school anymore.
Cooperation and attention of the relevant authorities to address this issue are greatly appreciated.
Sarawak PAS Commissioner cum Miri PAS Chief