Do Schools Still Need Lockers? We Say Yes!
Over the past few weeks and months, school lockers have become a subject of widespread debate. The reason being that a growing number of teachers and indeed students alike are suggesting that the era of school lockers is coming to an end. At such a rate that within the next decade or so, they see school lockers disappearing entirely from educational facilities across much of the world.
The question being – from where do these predictions stem?
In short, it all comes down to the fact that a lot of our students these days prefer to carry everything with them at all times. In most schooling environments, students have switched to online textbooks and the kind of personal technology that can replace all the heavy books and binders in the world. In addition, the fact that kids are glued to their electronic devices 24/7 further reduces their likelihood of being stored away in lockers.
So as far as those seeing the end of school lockers are concerned, it’s simply a case of them apparently no longer be needed. After all, if you have all the resources you require right there in your bag, is it it really necessary to have a separate storage unit somewhere in the building?
Ask the experts and they’ll give you a pretty simple answer…yes!
Why School Lockers Are Still Important
While it may be true to say that students these days are more inclined to carry plenty of things around with them at all times, this does not in any way affect the importance or convenience of school lockers. In fact, many insist that lockers go far beyond simple convenience, by having the potential to directly benefit the health and safety of kids at school.
Heavy backpacks can cause back pain
According to a recent study carried out by the Consumer Product Safety Commission in the United States, the number of annual injuries being caused by school backpacks is growing steadily every year. Research having suggested that backpacks in general have the potential to lead to both acute and chronic back pain, along with other strains and injuries.
The problem being that not only do kids have a tendency to overload their backpacks like it was some kind of competition, but they also can’t be relied upon to practice good posture. If anything, the exact opposite is the case. So with millions of kids carrying heavy backpacks around with them at all times, it’s inevitable that thousands are going to suffer the consequences.
According to official guidelines, a child should only ever be permitted to carry a backpack that weighs no more than 10% of the child’s bodyweight. In most instances, this just isn’t a realistic option for most kids carrying their daily bits and pieces around.
Books and Binders
Something else to bear in mind is that irrespective of the advancements in technology in general, it will always be necessary to carry certain books, binders and learning resources around as a student. Even in this day and age, it is unheard of for students – particularly younger pupils – to tackle most of their everyday work using electronic devices and computers. They have no choice but to carry their possessions around with them, unless lockers are provided.
The whole idea with lockers being that kids are able to store about 90% of their gear, summarily carrying only what they need around with them at the time. Until the day comes when books and binders are eliminated from the equation – something that isn’t going to happen anytime soon – lockers will continue to play an important role in schools worldwide.
Dealing with Distractions
More schools and colleges than ever before are taking an aggressive stance against the use of smartphones and similar devices in classrooms and general study environments. While it’s true to say that technology can play a role in enhancing the educational experience, it can also be uniquely distracting. Not only for those using such devices, but for everyone else in the vicinity at the time – including the teacher.
School staff often face enormous difficulties policing the use of mobile devices. Particularly, when kids become resistant or aggressive when instructed to put them away or hand them over. By contrast, instigating a school-wide rule wherein all such devices need to be placed in personal lockers before heading into the classroom is much easier to enforce. It’s actually been proven in several studies that to ban the presence of mobile devices in educational buildings can have a direct impact on the quality of education experienced by each pupil respectively.
Pure Style Points
Last but not least, it’s also worth remembering that for a lot of students, school lockers provide the opportunity to build something of a home from home. A little personal sanctuary they can decorate and style in any way they like – something that often sparks a little healthy rivalry among more creative types. For some, having a locker isn’t only about having a storage space. Instead, it’s about having a space within the building you can truly make your own.
For generations, being assigned a school locker and decorating it in weird and wonderful ways has been no less than a rite of passage for hundreds of millions of students worldwide. It’s the kind of thing that was typically nurtured and encouraged, providing pupils with a creative outlet and somewhere they know their personal possessions are safe. Some schools have even gone so far as to host competitions, with prizes on offer for the most fantastic and functional lockers in the building.
A Simple Conclusion…
So once again therefore, the answer to the question is relatively simple. While it’s not to say that kids in school couldn’t possibly get by without lockers, this doesn’t mean they don’t benefit significantly from their presence. When it comes to safety, convenience, enjoyment and even quality of education, lockers really can make all the difference.
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