ISKANDAR PUTERI – The School Pupil Bag Weight Evaluation Study which is currently being conducted will come up with a report in one month, Deputy Education Minister Datuk P. Kamalanathan said.
He said the process of gathering information had been initiated by the State Education Department and the District Education Office of several states which visited schools.
“Once the process is ready, the information will be sent to the ministry to be tabled before Education Minister, Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid.
“This study is aimed at finding solutions to the issue of heavy school bags. We have asked for cooperation from school authorities such as headmasters and teachers to not allow their students to carry bags for a week-long learning but to only carry books based on the daily schedule.
“Based on my own observations, these heavy bag cases are less likely to occur in Tamil National Type Schools (SJKT) and some of these issues are not caused by heavy book load but the use of wheeled school bags,” So, we must scrutinise this,” he told reporters after opening the SJKT Ladang Bukit Serampang here today.
In another development, Kamalanathan said 12 out of the 37 SJKTs outlined in the 2012 Special Plan Package had already been completed and they were already in use.
“A total of 12 schools are completed and are being utilised, 12 are completed and are waiting for the Certificate of Completion and Compliance from the local authorities while the remaining 13 are in various stages of construction.
“The construction works started in 2014 and are expected to be completed after taking into consideration the approvals received from the local authorities on the SJKT sites,” he said.
Kamalanathan said the total cost of construction of these 37 schools was RM216 million and were implemented by Indian contractors.
“The expected cost to build 37 SJKT initially was RM80 million, but after discussions at the ministry level, we found that RM80 million was not enough, as the actual cost of development is RM216 million,” he said. – BERNAMA