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January 27, 2010

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Home » Metro » Education

Children find going to school a burden

Books are becoming a burden for Shanghai's primary and secondary pupils.

It's estimated that most children carry more than 5 kilograms of textbooks on their way to and from school each day. Some schoolbags even weighed more than 10kg.

Schools should introduce e-textbooks to solve the problem, Huang Shanming, a city political advisor, said yesterday.

Huang said: "Local students' schoolbags are too heavy, which impairs their health and make them hunchbacked."

An increasing number of students were using trolley bags, he said, but these were difficult to carry upstairs and over rough ground.

Huang said students had to buy 213 textbooks (excluding reference books, exercise books and dictionaries) from Grade 1 to 12, which cost at least 1,750 yuan (US$256.3).

Compared with traditional textbooks, e-textbooks were much lighter and would not be more expensive, he said.

E-textbooks also saved on paper and energy.

Huang had studied the feasibility of e-textbooks in local schools and found that students now had Internet access at primary and secondary schools in the city.

Many schools had launched Websites and had digital libraries.

Most local students started to learn about computers in primary school, Huang said.

"Shanghai, as a leading city in the development of information technology in the country, should start to work on e-textbooks now," he said.

Singapore had developed e-textbooks together with a storage card with digital copies of textbooks, homework and dictionaries 10 years ago. Students can also download information and receive or send e-mails.

Schools in California in the United States were already using e-textbooks, he said.


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