Ministry result

Ministry of Education urged to address heavy school bag issue

PETALING JAYA: Year 1 and Year 1 students will start school on March 21 and parents and teachers are calling on the Ministry of Education to ease the burden of heavy textbooks for their children.

Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia (Page) chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim said e-books should be made accessible to students and school administrators should encourage the effective use of these. equipment.

“In the past, some of the solutions have been to have double lessons, leave seldom-used textbooks in classrooms, and provide convenient, cheap and safe storage.

“Others include bringing books to school according to the day’s schedule and only taking the books needed for homework.

“These best practices also turn students into effective organizers,” she said.

Melaka Action Group for Parents in Education president Mak Chee Kin said parents and teachers should communicate with each other throughout the week to keep up to date with the school calendar.

“Students should also leave books that will not be used under their desks, or the school or parents can provide boxes for students to keep their books.

“Schools, however, must ensure that all classrooms are securely locked after school hours,” he said.

General Secretary of the National Union of Teaching Profession (NUTP), Wang Heng Suan, said parents should check their children’s schoolbags before class.

“There are no more than four subjects a day at the primary school level at least. So why are their bags heavy? He asked.

Wang said the Ministry of Education conducted a study a few years ago and found that more than 70 percent of students’ schoolbags contained items other than their textbooks, such as large bottles of water and food packs.

He said there have been suggestions for schools to provide storage space for students to keep their textbooks, but not all schools have the space or the finances for storage units.

And if students leave their textbooks in schools, they have no reference material to do their homework.

“E-books are useful, but not everyone and everywhere in Malaysia has good internet access.

“The most effective way at the moment is for parents to help their children pack according to their schedule,” he added.

Wang was referring to a ministry study in July 2018 that found students brought too many books to school, which increased the weight of their bags.

In some cases, the textbooks and workbooks required were only 28% of the weight of the bags, and the rest of the weight came from workbooks, dictionaries, comic books, water bottles, food or of sportswear.

A directive was then issued on September 12, 2018, outlining measures to reduce the weight of schoolbags.

This included rearranging the schedule so that there were between three and four subjects per day and setting up book lockers.

Teachers can also give clear instructions on what books students should bring each day and reduce the number of exercise books for each subject.

Education Minister Datuk Dr Radzi Jidin has pledged to tackle the problem of heavy school bags with the new school year starting next month instead of January.

Citing reasons such as too many subjects and books, he said there were many issues to consider as the ministry could not just ask schools to reduce subjects.

“For example, the ministry has discussed with Jakim (Department of Islamic Development Malaysia) to allow students taking Agama classes in the evening to wear their school uniform to reduce the amount of items they carry in their bag,” he said. after launching the Sekolahku Sejahtera concept here yesterday.

Earlier, Radzi said that the Sekolahku Sejahtera (Prosper My School) encompasses elements of, among others, safety, fun at school, health, etiquette, manners, harmony, skills and d exploration of knowledge.

He said these elements would be implemented during classroom and extracurricular activities.

The concept will not be a new subject, nor will it be a burden on teachers, he said, adding that they would not have to submit reports on it. On the exams for this year’s Form Three (PT3) Assessing Examination, Radzi said no decision has been made. had not yet been made because the Ministry was still studying the best approach taking into account the level of mastery of the students.