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Weigh to go: Guangzhou primary school implements campaign to trim backpacks

By Xu Zhesheng | | Updated: 2023-12-07 21:39
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A primary school in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, has initiated a campaign to alleviate concerns over students' backpack weights and potential health issues.

The Haizhu District Experimental Primary School in Guangzhou launched the initiative to ensure that students' backpacks do not exceed 10 percent of their body weight, in accordance with guidelines from the National Health Commission. Previous surveys conducted by the school revealed that over half of the students carried backpacks surpassing this recommended limit, which could lead to back injuries, muscle fatigue, and spinal curvatures.

The school's campaign outlines specific weight limits for different grades: students in grades one and two are advised to keep their backpacks under 2.5 kilograms, grades three and four under 3.5 kilograms, and fifth- and sixth-graders under 4.5 kilograms.

During a recent random inspection, four students were found with overweight backpacks. The school's solution involves advising students to organize their backpacks based on their daily class schedules, carrying only essential textbooks, stationery, and empty drinking bottles. Unnecessary items should be left out, and additional reading materials can be borrowed from the school library or classroom book corner.

The push to reduce schoolbag weight aligns with nationwide efforts, particularly following the central authorities' issuance of the "double reduction" policy in 2021, aiming to alleviate the after-school tutoring and homework burden on primary and middle school students. Schools across the country have implemented various measures to address this issue, such as providing on-site storage spaces, guiding students in organizing their backpacks, and supplying essential items like drinking water and teaching instruments.

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