The state education department issued a diktat three years ago in an effort to reduce the weight of school bags which seems to have had the desired effect in Pune with most schools complying with the advisory.
Several novel methods have been adopted to reduce the burden for the children keeping in mind the tough norms and guidelines issued with respect to ensuring lighter school bags.
Pune365 spoke to students, schools and parents to take stock of the measures adopted by city schools in this regard.
Neelam Shelke,a school teacher says. “Heavy school bags have always been a matter of concern and this strict action by Maharashtra education department has relieved the pain of thousands of students.
The school now follows a disciplined timetable and restricts the use of books. Students from our school have been allocated computers to save their classwork in the computer which are sent to the respective teacher for checking later.”
“However, we have not completely stopped the use of textbooks and notebooks as they’re irreplaceable. However, it is not always the books in the bag which leads to the heavy weight.
The bags available in the market are also heavy, and the shape of the bag often causes an imbalance in the distribution of weight.
Parents should be responsible while they choose a bag for their kids,” Shelke added.
A representative from Millenium school says, “Students nowadays are already pressurized with many things and in order to ease their burden of school bags, the school lets children walk in only with their tiffin box.”
As the students moved to a higher standard, the subjects increase which ultimately leads to more books, and one subject isn’t limited to one book.
Nowadays kids have 10 books for one subject, out of which they carry at least 3-4 books for each subject.
Students below fourth grade come to school without bags as the school has locker facility in which books and worksheets are stored.
Students from 5th grade are expected to carry their bags which has no notebooks apart from their respective textbooks and homework worksheets which are provided by the school. Their classwork is submitted and kept in the school itself.
I don’t exactly know how much my bag exactly weighs, but it is certainly more than the prescribed limit, says a 8th standard student Rudra Shivatre.
Every school has a timetable to follow every day, which is changed twice a year, One subject has a minimum of three books, workbook, textbook and notebooks, although not everything is needed in one period.
But we’re forced to carry it as the teacher may demand anything at any point of time, he adds
Speaking to Pune365, student Nirav Mutha said “We are only asked to carry limited books after the government implemented the policy for school bags.
According to the timetable, we have 8 periods in a day in which one subject is repeated which helps us carry only 6 or 7 books including one rough book.
Thanks to this increase in awareness, schools have been following the norms that has eased 50% of our burden.
Most of the schools now also have locker systems in which we can keep our sports kits or project work material.
The school doesn’t however have any cell who does the constant checking for the weight of bags, Nirav added.
Our school has one book for homework, and in classwork, they have worksheets so it’s only the textbook which they need to carry to the school, says Komal More, housewife.
Schools have issued timetables and asked parents to ensure that the kids carry only minimum books according to the prescribed timetable.
Apart from books they have arts, crafts and work experience for which the material is provided by the school itself.
There are constant school meetings to recheck that students are not burdened with the heavy weight of school bags, More added.
#All views expressed in this article are those of the individual respondents and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them.
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