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What happened to reducing weight of school bags?


Srinagar, Feb 28: No progress has been made on the report filed by the expert committee constituted by the government for suggestions on reducing the weight of school bags.
Following Jammu and Kashmir High Court’s order on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) submitted by a law student in, the government constituted a committee of five members to suggest the measures for limiting the numbers of books in students’ bags.
The four member expert committee comprises of noted academician Prof A G Madhosh, Prof Nusrat Andrabi, member of Indian Red Cross Society, Prof Abdul Jabbar, ex-principal Government Degree College Bemina and Prof Veena Pandita, Secretary, Jammu and Kashmir Board of School Education.
While the report has been submitted by them in the month of November and high court also directing the government to take a decision on the issue before February 2018, no announcement from the government has come though days are left for the resuming of session in schools.
A member of the committee, Prof Madhosh told The Kashmir Monitor that he was unaware about further development in the case.
“We submitted it two months ago to the government, which later was also submitted to the court. But then we don’t know what government did with it,” he said.
Prof Madhosh said the government should have by now approved the report in the cabinet to frame a comprehensive plan on their suggestions.
“It has some salient features and should have been implemented by now. But I haven’t heard anything from the government over its approval in the cabinet so far,” he said.
Sources said that considering various measures suggested by the expert committee, the government till now is indecisive about the report.
“This year at least it can’t be implemented as the session has juts few days to begin. So we will have to watch whether the report will be approved by the government or not,” they said.
Petitioner, Badrul Dujja, however, is dissatisfied with the government over “ignoring and delaying” the implementation of the expert report.
“High Court has directed government to consider petitioners petition within three months and frame a policy in this regard. But they are deliberately delaying it,” he said.
Dujja said that the report by expert committee should also be made public.
“And expert committee report didn’t come in public so that we can debate on it. What bothers me is that our state is not able to solve a basic issue like heavy school bags. I doubt how we will solve other major issues in Education Department,” he said.
As per the Expert Committee members, suggestions like introducing pre-primary classes without books, reducing academic weight rather than bags and hold examination semester wise have been made.