In a landmark decision, the govt. has laid down a list of guidelines for schools to reduce the weight of school bags. The government’s policy mandates that school bags should not be more than 10 per cent of the child’s body weight.
In July 2015, the state education department had clearly laid down a list of guidelines for schools to reduce the weight of school bags. Even though there is a policy in place, the children carry most of the books thereby carrying heavy school bags. Three years after the Maharashtra government came up with a policy to reduce the weight of school bags, little seems to have been done to implement the same. .
It is indeed a step in the right direction to make school bags lighter for children. The Human Rights commission is there to look into the problems of the people including school-going children. Present day education system is taxing. School fees are very high and the school bags have become a burden. There is no doubt about it. The State Government’s policy in place, kids still carry heavy school bags. After the introduction of computers in schools, colleges and offices, there is need to reduce paper work and hence the school bags should weigh lightly. Instead of reducing the weight of school bags, school authorities add more weight to these bags by adding more books and in the process more note books as well.
Parents have to bear a major share of the cost of books/note books as well the weight of the bags as the parents feel pity on their children and carry the school bags to the school. The order of the Maharashtra State Human Rights is a right step in the right direction. It is up to the State Government to follow the order in the right spirit and provide the best solution to the school-going children. School authorities and the Parent-Teacher Associations are ready to monitor the weight of the bags and bring it down with an amicable solution. The end solution to the problem is that the policy in place should be implemented in total and proper monitoring is the need of the hour.
School children will go through motions with great difficulty till the time better council prevails and put a block on weight of these school bags. School children undergo more stress and strain because of the increasing weight of the school bags. The life of school children is for enjoyment and getting valuable education. By carrying bulky bags, the school children carry heavy burden on their shoulders and it is up to the State Government to reduce the load by introducing the order in letter and spirit. And that is my clarion call. Other schools must follow in reducing the sizes of school bags in the next academic year.
The familiar sight of spindly school students staggering under heavy, bulging school bags may soon be a thing of the past, at least in some states. The government has thrown the ball or rather the pen back in the students’ court by asking them for suggestions on how to ease the load. The students’ suggestions include introduction of locker systems, canteens for unaided schools so that students don’t have to lug their lunch boxes and ensuring that managements adhere to a timetable. Students have also asked to be allowed to keep all items that are not academically-related in lockers. By introducing CDs and DVDs, you can still reduce the burden and the children will be able to become computer savvy from their young age.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)