|Research School Child development
The weight of school bags being carried by school-going students has continued to be a topic of more concern, particularly among the grade seven students. Teachers, parents, and education stakeholders have considered the situation that keep raising more concerns because the risks outweigh the benefits. Many at times, students have raised their complaints several times, on why they have to carry books back and forth to school and home every day.
According to Jamaica College News General 2016, a student stated that his bag would weigh up to seventeen pounds, and that is without adding in their dictionary. In the mornings, when students are going to school and when going back home in the evening, most of their bags are carried by their parents. It is an effort by the parents to reduce the burden that the students have to bear with them, which will later affect them physically.
An interesting research was made by Pramanik suggesting that students are supposed to convey school bags that are ten percent of their body weight, at most (Pramanik, 2007). The American Academy of Pediatrics also supports the proposal made by Voll and Klimt. The findings of the study are a recommended guideline that is being observed by most of the educational institutions, globally.
This document will have a detailed overview of an assessment of the weight of school bags and the impact on students. The proposal of the study will also look at both the negative and the positive effects of the habit of carrying school bags.
Significance of Study
This study seeks to generate awareness among teachers, parents and even the ministry of education, among other stakeholders on the effects that school bags have towards the students who have to carry them daily, back and forth school.
The finding will bestow a framework that will sanction the:
a)Ministry of Education and the policymakers to contrivance regulations concerning
- The load of the school bags as compared to the body mass of the student.
- To make school bags that can be able to bear the back strains and make it comfortable for the student.
- Providing enlightenment to the parents and the teachers on the short term and the long term effects of carrying heavy school bags.
- Creating more storage space for the children to store the books and items that they are not using in classrooms.
- Embracing digital technology where most of the teaching is done through the e-learning process and the use of e-books.
b)The need for parents to understand the discomfort that their children go through and offer as much physical support they need especially helping them carry their bags to school. Additionally, the study will be used as a future reference to a research study of the same relevance. Future researchers will benefit from this research as they can compare their findings for their importance.
c)The teachers need to create more space in the classrooms for storing excess items. Items like water bottles, extra textbooks and other items can be stored in shelves so that the children carry with them what is necessary. The burden to carry excessive luggage by students every day needs to be dismissed.
The aim of the research is to establish the fact that there is an ideal weight that students should carry. The ideal weight is meant to relieve them from the heavy load they carry in their school bags daily.
Further, the research is aimed at determining the degree of the effect of the schoolbags towards the student. Additionally, another aim is to ensure that the parents, the teachers and other stakeholders like the Ministry of Education play their part well in ensuring that the students do not have to overburden them. Some of the enlightenments will be discussed in the research and can be used for further research work.
Lastly, another aim of the study is to determine the awareness of stakeholders and the knowledge they have to the recommendations that are offered to them.
The objectives of the research will seek to:
- Determine the weight that the students should carry on their school bags.
- Determine whether certain types of bags can ease the discomfort.
- Establish the ratio between the body mass of a student to their school bag load.
- Regulate the discomfort that is caused by the weight on the school bags.
- Ascertain the perspective that the parents and the school administration have in regard to students carrying heavy bags.
- Dictate if carrying heavy school bags can lead to a bad posture, among other issues related to changes in the body structure of the students.
- Promote other methods of learning at schools to minimize the carrying of school bags.
- Does carrying heavy school bags cause discomfort among students?
- Do the types of bags and how they are carried have an impact on the discomfort that might be caused?
- What is the correlation between the weight a student should carry and their body mass?
- What are the measures that need to be implemented to solve the challenge of heavy school bags?
- What are parents, teachers, the Ministry of Education and the concerned stakeholders doing to help the students with the burden of carrying school bags?
- Are there other solutions that can be implemented to do away completely with carrying heavy school bags?
Pravin, (2018) conducted a study on 985 students who were aged between 12 to 18 years on the effects of the weight of the backpack. The evaluation was to analyze the head-on-neck posture brought about by weight from bag packs through the response of the craniovertebral angle. The researchers measured the stand point that the students maintained with and without their school bags, by the use of images of erect bodies standing. The results had great significance to the study as it supported the claims. There is a significant change in the head and neck posture (craniovertebral), which was brought about by the backpacks. The research goes ahead to suggest that the response is related inversely to the ages of the students. The study further suggests that a mature spine is less likely to develop the craniovertebral angle (Institute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board, Committee on Physical Activity and Physical, 2013).
Janakiraman and Ravichandran, (2015) proposed that the weight that students carry in their school bags is not supposed to exceed ten to twelve percent of their body’s mass. The two authors, through their research, emphasize that a hefty school bag as compared to the body mass of the student, will increase a forward inclination posture. Students will start leaning forward to be able to carry the load on the bag packs and balance the load. Globally, the study and findings of Janakiraman and Ravichandran acknowledged a proposal of easing the effort of carrying a school bag. It concerns when a large number of students all have the same challenge globally, of heavy school bags and the postures they have adopted to carry their bags, every day (Institute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board, Committee on Physical Activity and Physical, 2013).
Research conducted by Daniel et al, 2018 found that the students were carrying twenty percent of weight as compared to their body mass. The findings impose a ten percent more than what is recommended. The ten percent was not supposed to be more than two kilograms of load.
Research by Pravin, 2018 showed that students in German also carried school bags that weighed in between ten and eighteen percent. That weight is still way above the recommended weight.
Pramanik, 2007 researched the impact of several ways of carrying the school bags on gait kinematic and static posture. The findings, according to Pascoe, do support the idea that school bags that are ten percent to more than the body mass of the student do have an increase in the susceptibility of a child to discomfort and muscular pain.
Studies among children conducted biochemically have researched the impacts of the different weights on varying parameters such as the gait, respiration, trunk inclination and, craniovertebral angle. Each of the studies that have been conducted made a confirmation that the weight that has to be carried by the students should increase by 10 percent of their body mass. A load that is more than 10 percent of a students’ body mass can cause physical effects towards the students like shoulder depression and even bad posture for life.
According to Garnett (2020), school bags are not an important tool in learning. Students can go to school and still learn without carrying their books. The digital world has led to digitalization in everything including education. Students can learn online through the modern learning system. The student is issued with an electronic device instead of a textbook. The author claims that carrying a tablet to school is convenient as compared to carrying a school bag. He argues that within a single electronic device, say an e-book, there could be a weight of many online books that cannot be carried by a school bag. The best part about the online learning materials is that they are portable and do not cause strain while moving around. Schooling would be better and more interesting for the students. Carrying school bags makes them tired during the day, and affects their levels of concentration. Garnett insists that books are an unnecessary load that students have to carry with them every day. Most of the items that the students carry back and forth every day are not even put in use. However, the students still need to carry the load with them because it is an obligation. The digital system is still far the best system of inclusive and cognitive learning, which works best for the comfort of the student (Garnett, 2020).
Another study that was conducted on students’ posture and the contour of the spine shows reliable evidence, in the link between bad standpoint and the school bag loads (Daniel et al, 2018).
In Sander et al, (1999) stated that walking with a burden of 20% of the bodyweight for more than a minute would result to a forward trunk inclination. The forward inclination increases over time.
According to Jane, (2011) carrying a heavy bag can cause discomfort and chronic pain as a short term effect. A heavy load could have a long term effect on the muscles which result in a bad posture. She further postulates that most of the common cases of back pain among school-going children are actually because of carrying their heavy school bags. Serious problems in the development of the spine among school-going children, is a negative effect towards musculoskeletal development.
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