State yet to make no-bag day a must

Students in State syllabus schools will have to continue to bear the burden on their backs as the government is yet to issue an order on making no-bag day mandatory once a week.

The Department of Public Instruction in January this year mooted the idea of no-bag day to ease the load on students from the 2018-19 academic year. Although it has been more than a month since the academic year commenced, this issue has not been addressed by the department.

This proposal was first raised after various campaigns were held by parents and NGOs when they spotted overloaded school bags, some even weighing up to 7kg. Besides this, the department was also keen on fixing the total weight of the bag within 10-15% of the body weight as per recommendations made by doctors.

Some district administrations, however, have taken the lead and introduced no-bag day once a week.

Rajesh S., a parent, said that schools were not even following the timetable and many teachers were insisting on students bringing all textbooks. “Despite these complaints and problems faced by students, the department has still not issued orders. We hope the department addresses this problem at the earliest,” he said.

According to a survey by the Department of State Educational Research and Training, in association with the Centre for Child and the Law, National Law School of India University, Bangalore, the highest burden of school bags was in unaided schools. The average weight of the bag from classes 1 to 10 was 5.6 kg. The heaviest bag of 8.3 kg was carried by a Kendriya Vidyalaya class 12 student. The survey also stated that notebooks constituted the maximum weight.

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