Flashback 2015: Weight off kids’ shoulders

unburdened: School kids will carry lighter school bags now

unburdened: School kids will carry lighter school bags now

The year 2015 saw a major effort by the government to reduce the weight of school bags. The school education ministry issued two resolutions based on directions of the Bombay high court to issue guidelines to all schools to reduce the weight of school bags.

While the first resolution was not specific, the July 21 resolution set the weight limit to 10 per cent of the weight of the child. Schools were quick to implement the same by formulating ways and means to adhere to the limit by making drastic changes to the time table so that children did not have to carry all books everyday. While changes in timetables was one way of limiting the school bag weight, schools that could afford it introduced a locker system wherein students could leave some of their books back and only take home books that they required to do home assignments. Others introduced the worksheet method while some also adopted e-learning.

According to the administrator of St Andrews School in Bandra, they have been able to limit the weight of the school bags by assigning lockers to the students. “Though the lockers take up space, as students do not have to carry their books everyday they are more during school hours. The weight limitation has been a good initiative by the government,” said the administrator.

Suresh Lad of Jagrut Palak Sangh, a parent-teacher organisation was also appreciative of the weight limit. “Previously students had to carry textbooks and exercise books of all subjects but due to weight limitation now they have to carry books of specific subjects only. The time tables now have classes for compulsory subjects on alternate days only,” said Lad.

Parents have also welcomed the move and said that it should have been implemented long back. “The governments diktat has ensured that the schools look for alternate means of teaching which has led to the introduction of e-learning in schools. Today children have access to smartphones, tabs and computers and teaching through the gadgets ensures that their interest in studies is intact. I feel schools should do away with the physical books altogether and teach through the electronic method,” said

Mohammad Raza Haji whose children study in Christ Church school at Mazgaon. Most schools in the city managed to adhere to the November 30 deadline set by the state to implement the limit.

“School principals and teachers are keen on ensuring that the bags conform to the norms as the government has said they would be held responsible if the bags were found overweight. We have posted staffs at the school gate to check children’s bags,” said Prashant Redij, principal of Hilda Castellina School at Kandivali.

Source : http://www.asianage.com/mumbai/flashback-2015-weight-kids-shoulders-229

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