After a Maharashtra government resolution on making students’ bags lighter, schools have decided to train parents and teachers on ways to reduce the children’s load.
The panel has asked schools to ensure the bag weighs not more than 10% of the child’s weight.
The experts had pointed out that one reason for the bags to be heavy was because students bring all their books to school every day, because teachers often don’t follow the days’ timetable. Textbooks, separate notebooks for classwork and homework, guide books and material for extra-curricular subjects such as craft and drawing were adding the weight of the bags.
Hansraj Morarji Public School, Andheri, said it will train parents to pack school bags smartly, during its upcoming general body meeting on Saturday. The school will also ask its teachers to stick to the timetable. “Teachers take over free periods to complete their syllabus on time. This makes children carry extra books every day,” said Anjana Prakash, principal of the school.
Prakash said parents, too, need lessons on packing light school bags. “Many parents do not even supervise the children when they are packing. They should ensure students don’t carry unnecessary items to school,” she said.
Other schools said they are planning to install lockers for students. St Mary’s School, ICSE, Mazgaon, introduced lockers for higher classes this year and is now planning to extend it to junior classes as well.
“Parents of children in the secondary classes took the initiative of bringing the lockers, so children could store some things in school,” said Father Francis Swamy, manager. “We are mulling over having such lockers for the entire school.”
Swamy said they have asked the publishers to make textbooks available in three parts, so that students can use one each semester.