In Karnataka the Primary and Secondary Education department on Friday issued an order stating that the weight of the school bag will not be more than 10 per cent of the student’s body weight and directed all the DDPIs to implement the same from June.
The department’s order will be applicable to all the state government, aided and private unaided schools starting from the academic year 2019-20.
The government’s directive is based on a pilot study carried out during 2016-17 by the Centre for Child and Law and the National Law School of India University (NLSIU) in various schools across the state and subsequent opinion by orthopaedic experts.
According to sources, the move had been pending before the government for over two years.
The directives are part of the recommendations made by the government-appointed experts’ committee headed by Dr VP Niranjanaradhya.
This apart, the Karnataka government has also directed all schools to observe every third Saturday of the month as ‘No Bag Day’.
Dr Niranjanaradhya, who headed the committee constituted to study bag weight, congratulated the government for implementing the recommendations.
“We had submitted the final report with a set of recommendations to the government two years ago and, they have issued the order,” Dr Niranjanaradhya. “The government must monitor it regularly and mainly ensure schools to provide safe drinking water facility which will definitely reduce at least 1-1.5 kilo weight.”
In its latest circular, the government has fixed the bag weight according to the classes in which kids are studying.
“Students from 1 to 2 standard can carry about 1.5kg to 2 kg of weight on their shoulders.
Similarly, it will be 2 to 3 kgs for those studying between 3rd and 5th standard and 3 to 4 kgs for the 6th to 8th standard students. Those who are studying in 9th and 10th standard can carry about 4 to 5 kgs weight school bags,” the order, a copy of which is with DH, stated.
Giving relief to tiny tots who are in 1st and 2nd standard, the state government has ordered no homework for these kids.
The government has directed schools not to assign any homework for these level children as per the directions by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD).