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Wednesday, Oct 16, 2019

Reduce weight of school bags: MHRD

According to a recent circular by the ministry, weight of schoolbag of Class 1 and 2 students shall not exceed 1.5kg. The allowed weight of schoolbags for Class 3 to 5 is 2-3kg, for Classes 6 to 7 is 4kg, for classes 8 to 9 is 4.5kg and for Class-10 students is 5kg.

education Updated: Nov 28, 2018 11:18 IST
Deepa Sharma sood
Deepa Sharma sood
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
The heavy weight bag is resulting in serious spine problems among kids as they have complains of backache at young age
The heavy weight bag is resulting in serious spine problems among kids as they have complains of backache at young age (HT File Photo)
         

A circular issued by the Union ministry of human resource and development (MHRD) regulating the weight of schoolbags according to the class is a mere eyewash according to the parents.

According to a recent circular by the ministry, weight of schoolbag of Class 1 and 2 students shall not exceed 1.5kg. The allowed weight of schoolbags for Class 3 to 5 is 2-3kg, for Classes 6 to 7 is 4kg, for classes 8 to 9 is 4.5kg and for Class-10 students is 5kg.

During a visit to several schools on Tuesday, HT team found the same scenario in every school where students were seen burdened with their overweight bags. Students of Classes 1 to 5 were seen carrying bags up to 8kg. Parents who had come to pick up their wards were seen carrying the schoolbags due to its excess weight. Several students were seen using trolley bags, an alternative to regular schoolbag.

The heavy weight bag is resulting in serious spine problems among kids as they have complains of backache at young age.

Gunmeet Kaur, mother of a Class-2 student, says: “My daughter is studying in Class 2 and due to heavy bag she is suffering from spine problem since two months. She has been complaining everyday that she is not able to bear the weight of bag as her class is on the second floor. Despite the CBSE directions to phase out school bags up to Class 2, the schools have never bothered to take this step.”

Another parent Maninder Singh, whose son is studying in Class 1, says: “I ensure everyday that my son packs his schoolbag according to the school timetable. But the number of textbooks and notebooks is around 10 and then there is school tiffin, pencil box, water bottle which further adds more weight to the bag which is already more than 4kg. There is a need to keep the textbooks in school and can be sent home for revision on every Friday.”

Earlier also the Central board of secondary education had directed schools to phase out school bags up to Class 2.

The first circular was issued by the Central Board of Secondary Education in 2006, directing schools to reduce the bag load on children. The board had also instructed schools to restrict the number of textbooks prescribed for students especially at the primary level. The same circular was issued to the schools in 2007, 2008, 2016 and now in 2018.

Principals’ take

“Our school implemented the CBSE orders nine years ago and declared no bags till Class 2,” Nankana Sahib Public School, Gill Road, principal Harmeet Kaur Waraich said adding, “We implemented the board orders but it failed after parents were reluctant to follow the directions. However, to reduce the bag weight, our school has already introduced the term books and weight of every book is less as it is used for one term and for the next term students gets new books.”

Director of Green Land Schools Rajesh Rudra said, “Students are not bringing books according to the timetable and after school they go for tuitions, hence, carry extra books. Due to this reason, school bags have become increasingly heavy.”

He said, “I will hold a meeting with the school principals in a day and will direct them to instruct students to follow the timetable strictly. If required will make changes in the time table so that weight of the schoolbag can be reduced.”

“We are already following the directions of the board as homework is not assigned to the students of Classes 1 to 2,” he added.

Guru Nanak Public School, Model Town Extension, principal Mona Singh said there is a need to reduce syllabus to reduce the weight of bag.

Singh also said, “Another solution is to introduce term books which our school has decided to implement from the next academic session. Students will carry one book everyday with their tiffin, water bottle and pencil.”

“In order to enhance creativity and understanding of the subjects among children, we are already observing no bag day on Saturdays. Students of Classes 1 to 5 have been directed to come to school only with tiffin and water bottle,” she added.

Solutions by schools, parents 

Introduce term books 

Reduce syllabus 

Selection of right bags 

Packing of bags according to the time table 

Carry light weight water bottles

First Published: Nov 28, 2018 11:18 IST

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