LookAtVietnam – The Ministry of Education and Training says that primary
school students have to carry no more than 9 textbooks to school every day.
However, in fact, in order to fulfill their learning duties, students have to
bring up to 20 textbooks to school.
Though her house is near the daughter’s school, Lan, an office worker, has to
bring the daughter to the school every morning. Lan goes together with the girl
and accepts to be late to the office, because she has to carry the school bag to
the school for her daughter.
Lan fears that the heavy school bag may cause a bone fracture to the little
daughter, and she has every reason to worry about that. A 4th grader reportedly
got a shoulder bone fracture because of the overly heavy school bag, who was
then brought by his family to the Van Hanh Hospital in HCM City. The students
weight is 25 kilos, while he had to carry a 4-kilo school bag to school every
Lan said that right after hearing the information, she and her husband have to
help the daughter carry school bag to school. “I feel frightened when seeing my
daughter with the big and heavy bag which covers her shoulder and back,” Lan
The Ministry of Education and Training says that primary school students have to
carry no more than 9 textbooks to school every day. However, in fact, in order
to fulfill their learning duties, students have to bring up to 20 textbooks to
Every day, primary school students need textbooks on Vietnamese language, books
for doing exercises in Vietnamese language, the necessary textbooks for
mathematics and mathematics exercises, reference books and a textbook where they
write down the teachers’ instructions. Besides, they also have to carry other
textbooks to serve the learning subjects of the days: either arts, informatics,
English, or the sciences on the nature and society.
The physicians from the Central Children’s Hospital have warned that if students
have to carry heavy bags on their back for a long time, they may suffer from the
scoliosis or become hunchbacked.
The Ministry of Education and Training the Hanoi Department for Education and
Training, once accidentally examined some school bags of some primary school
students. The examination found out that some of the school bags, owned by the
students from the first to the fifth grades, were weighted up to five kilos.
Especially, the educational inspectors also found water, bread or milk in the
school bags of the students. As their parents feel unsatisfactory with the
quality of the meals provided by the schools, they ask children to bring
additional food to be sure that the children have good health enough for
Educators have blamed the lack of knowledge of parents on the overly heavy
school bags of primary school students. Nguyen Huu Phat, Headmaster of the Ly
Thuong Kiet Primary School in Hanoi, said that the education ministry only
requires students to bring the most basic textbooks for every learning subject.
Phat said that parents can purchase reference books for their children, but the
books should not be brought to school, because they will make the school bags
A teacher has advised parents to examine the textbooks their children carry to
school every day. In many cases, students do not check their timetables and they
carry all the textbooks they have to school.
Meanwhile, parents argue that educators should not blame on parents in this
issue, while they should think of reducing the volume of books students need to
carry to school.