AMN / July 4 @ 2:18 //
Children carrying heavy school bags in comparison to their age and over 58 per cent of students below 10 years of age are suffering from ‘ orthopaedic ailments’ in Maharashtra. The situation is not different in other part of the country. The latest disclosure has come in a report of state government appointed committee submitted to the Bombay High Court on Friday.
A division bench of Justices VM Kanade and BP Colabawala was informed that the 12-page report has been accepted by the Maharashtra government and a decision on its implementation will be taken soon.
After perusing the report, the court observed that children will have to carry trolley bags soon as the backpacks they carry at present is not enough.
The court suggested the government to consider directing schools to set up lockers where children can keep their textbooks instead of carrying it daily.
A recent study conducted by Pratham and NGO in Mysore and A. J. Stationery, on the weight of school bags showed the average weight of a bag to be around 8 kg. The study covered about 3,000 students in and around Mysore city, attending government and private schools across State, CBSE and ICSE syllabi. The study covered students from Class V to X. There were instances of school bags weighing 4 kg, particularly on Saturdays, Mr. Viren, who was associated with the exercise said the weight went up to 11.5 kg in certain cases.
Limits on School Bag Weights:
The 1993 report ‘Learning without burden’, submitted by the Yash Pal Committee appointed by the Ministry of Human Resource Development stated that young children should not be compelled to carry heavy bags to schools.
As per Kendriya Vidyalaya Sanghtan guidelines set in the academic year 2009 -2010, the upper limits for school bags are as follows:
– Not more than 2 kg for students in classes 1 and 2,
– Not more than 3 kg for classes 3 and 4.
– Not more than 4 kg for classes 5 and 8
– Not More than 6 kg for classes 9 to 12
These guidelines, parents, whose kids go to Kendriya vidyalayas, and teachers there say is not “religiously” followed.