The Director of the Directorate for Education Services, Raymond Camilleri, said that following complaints by students and studies carried out by the Association of Physiotherapists, schoolchildren are carrying heavier school bags than they are supposed to and therefore new guidelines have been issued for this problem to be solved.
In a Parliamentary Reply that had been given in 2018, it was stated that a circular had been sent to the Directorate with guidelines and advice as to how this problem should be addressed.
The Permanent Secretary at the Ministry for Education, Frank Fabri, said the guidelines propose reductions in the weight of school bags through the provision of lockers and for students to be informed of the books they need for the day.
After April feedback received will be evaluated and if necessary changes made and updated in the guidelines and in September a campaign will be launched for these to be brought into use.
Raymond Camilleri said there is the thought that instead of books children will have electronic books on their tablet and this will prevent having to carry volumes of books.
The Minister for Education, Owen Bonnici, said this problem has been manifest over the last 20 years. He said parents are being requested not to provide large food boxes and to check the timetable of lessons on the day so as to prevent children carrying extra materials in their bags.