Schoolbag weight: Parents hail Centre‘s initiative

PATNA: Parents in the city have welcomed the Central government’s decision to rationalize the syllabi and restrict the weight of schoolbags class-wise.
As per the new , the weight of schoolbags for students of classes I and II should not exceed 1.5kg. It is maximum 2kg to 3kg for classes III and V, 4kg for classes VI and VII, 4.5kg for classes VIII and IX and 5kg for class X.

Karishma Pandit, whose daughter studies in Class I at Notre Dame Academy, said, “Schoolbags should be lighter at this age. Otherwise, kids will develop muscle problems like backache and dropping shoulders under the weight of the bag.” She said the school has taken a few initiatives but it would be better if the kids’ up to Class II are given no homework.

“My son never carries his schoolbag out of fear that he might get body ache. Thus, I have to carry his bag to the school bus,” said Soumya Sachdev, whose son studies in Class III at St Karen’s Primary School. Soumya said she would be happier if the state government successfully and strictly imposed the rules to ease the burden of schoolbags.

The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act states the weight of schoolbags must be reduced to ease the burden on students. National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT) mentioned in the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) stipulates only two textbooks — English and mathematics — for Class I and II and three books, including , for students from Class III to V. Apparently, no school follows these guidelines.

Binay Kumar, whose son goes to St Xavier’s High School, said the government only makes plans which are hardly implemented. “In 2015, the ministry of human resource department discussed this issue of reducing the weight of schoolbag and no bag till class II, but hardly any school followed,” the banker said.

Priyanka Singh, whose daughter and son study at Open Minds A Birla School, said the ever-increasing number of subjects in the school curriculum is one of the reasons kids have to carry heavy bags.

is, however, planning to follow the Centre’s directive from next academic session. School principal Mary Alphonsa said the school board members would decide how to reduce the weight of schoolbags without disturbing the school timetable.

Sr Serena M AC, principal of Carmel High School, said the schools had already reduced the weight of schoolbags up to Class V. “We kept as much books and copies at schools as possible. Since the central government has taken this decision, we will talk to the parents to take steps in this regard,” she said.

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