While many schools have not yet reduced the weight of their students’ bags, 13 institutes have managed to do so with innovative methods. These include scheduling double periods in the timetable, using one notebook for all subjects, and restricting the size of school bags. The deputy directorate of education will now share these best practices with other schools.
“Of the 212 schools that we examined last month, 13 had managed to limit the weight of school bags by adopting creative methods,” said BB Chavan, deputy director of education, Mumbai region. “We have decided to share their practices with other schools, which are struggling to make bags lighter.”
Indian Education Society (IES) School, Matunga, for instance, has started a buddy system in which students share textbooks with their class partner. If one student brings the history textbook, the other one carries geography. This way, the burden is shared among students.
Elsewhere, Mohammadi Urdu High School at Bhandup has barred students from bringing non-essential items such as extra pens, sketch pens, compass boxes, workbooks and guide books to school. NG Purandare School, Mulund, has asked students not to carry water bottles; drinking water is provided on campus.
Some schools have managed to cut the weight of bags through constant monitoring. Matoshree Vidyalaya, Goregaon, has reduced the weight of school bags from 4.5kg to 1.5kg by weighing students’ bags every day. Clerks posted at the playground after school randomly pick five students whose bags appear overweight and weigh them. Students whose bags are found to exceed the limit are counselled.