Of all the problems plaguing the education system, look at what Minister Anthony Garcia is focusing his attention on – heavy book bags.
Garcia called a news conference on Monday to tell reporters that his Ministry found a way to reduce the weight of a student’s book bag.
Every week, there is some problem at this Ministry with Garcia at the centre of everything. A former principal and TTUTA President, Garcia has clearly failed as Minister of this huge Ministry, sources in the industry added.
Garcia announced that he was setting up a committee to see what can be done to reduce the weight of schoolbags.
Garcia said based on a survey done, it was revealed that schoolbags were way too heavy. He said the survey found that schoolbags weighed between 30 and 40 per cent of a child’s net body weight.
He noted that this figure far exceeded the international standard weight which is between 15 to 20 per cent.
He added, “This should not be acceptable. Apart from curriculum issues, it has some very serious effects on children’s health. Several muscular and skeletal problems are associated with the weight of the book bags.” He added that he was told that some children even develop curved spines.
This move came 18 months after the then President of the Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers Association, Davanand Sinanan, called on Garcia to ease the burden from the backs of the children.
Garcia said teachers needed to stop text-booking and begin actual teaching. He suggested that teachers do not rely solely on textbooks but choose to be more interface with students.