Kids toil: Govt fails to suggest measures on reducing weight of school bags
Srinagar: The school education department is delaying issuance of guidelines for reducing weight of heavy bags carried by the school going children.
An official said the panel constituted to submit recommendation to reduce weight in school bags has submitted its report to the administrative department a month ago but the report has been shelved again by the administrative department.
Earlier, Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) in November 2018 directed the school education department of all states to formulate the guidelines to regulate the teaching of subjects and weight of school bags.
The directions were issued amid the complaints of heavy bags carried by the student particularly those studying in primary classes.
“But our department is delaying implementation of the MHRD guidelines for unknown reasons,” said an official.
The committee headed by Chairperson JK Board of school education (BOSE) VeenaPandita, in its report has suggested various measures to reduce the weight in school bags which will also pave way for implementation of common curriculum in government and private schools in the J&K state.
The final recommendations, official said have been submitted on basis of the previous report framed by the committee which was also headed by the Chairperson JKBOSE.
The previous committee was framed in wake of the High Court directions after a PIL was filed in the Court regarding the heavy weight of school bags.
“The new report has been framed in light of MHRD guidelines wherein they have asked the state government to limit the weight of school bags,” the official said.
Pertinently, MHRD has directed the education department that weight of school bag should not exceed 1.5 kg up to 2nd primary, 3kg for class III to V students, 4 kg in case of students of VI and VII class. It has been also stated that weight of school bag should not exceed 4.5kg for class VIII and IX students and 5kg for class 10th students.
At present, the students enrolled in private schools here in J&K state carry around a dozen books daily in their bags as the school authorities are prescribing additional books which are included in the timetable on daily basis despite Children’s School Bag Act 2006 being in place.
As per the Act, a schoolbag should not weigh more than 10 per cent of a child’s total body weight. But authorities in school education department have failed to ensure implementation of this Act.
“The government panel has made a proper calendar of the academic session and suggested up to which class students should not carry bags and text books to school,” an official said.
The panel has recommended that the schools should not prescribe any other subject than NCERT and JKBOSE text books. “No additional books will be allowed in schools,” he said.
Secretary school education department, SaritaChauhan didn’t respond to calls from this newspaper.