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School books too heavy for the children


Fri, Feb 6, 2015

Editor: I remember going to school as a child. In my days, all the books we had to carry were a few textbooks and a couple of exercise books, and we could carry them with one hand. These days, things have changed tremendously. As a parent these days, you have to buy more than one textbook for the same subject, though back then there was only one text book for each subject.{{more}} I have noticed on a daily basis that children carry some heavy bags with books that are too heavy, and in some cases, too big for them. When I see these things, my heart goes out to those poor children. Those bags are so heavy that when they walk it looks like the bags are pulling them backward and slowing them down.

I am very much concerned about the amount of pressure that those heavy bags are putting on the backs of our young, growing children. Their backs are very fragile and can be damaged easily. Isn’t there a system in place where children are told what subjects they would be having the next day, so that they can leave home some of those books. I have spoken to a number of parents and was told that they have brought up the issue during PTA meetings, giving suggestions for dealing with the problem, but their concerns seem to have fallen on deaf ears. One mother even told me that she has to take her young teenaged son to the doctor every three months to have his back straightened. When the children take off the bags, their backs are abnormally curved, making it hard for them to straighten up. I am appealing to the Ministry of Education to look into this problem very seriously and put something in place to rectify it. We want healthy children for the future of St Vincent and the Grenadines, not deformed children who can barely stand up straight. I do hope that we would see some changes for the sake of our children’s health and well-being, as these bags are just too heavy for our children to carry on a daily basis.

Clifford Gould