Reducing weight of school bags:8 months on, recommendations of committee gathers dust
Srinagar, July 26: It has been over eight months since an expert submitted its report, the authorities has failed to implement any of its recommendations to reduce the weight of school bags of children. Sources said that the government in August last had constituted a four-member committee comprising of former Head of Department of Education, University of Kashmir, A G Madhosh, former principal of Government College for Women Nusrat Andrabi, ex-principal Abdul Jabbar, and Veena Pandita, in-charge chairperson, J&K Board of School Education (BOSE) to suggest ways to help reduce the weight of school bags. Following which the committee submitted its report. However, the authorities have failed to implement the recommendations on formulating a policy to reduce the weight of school bags of children. The committee has suggested which classes actually require to be taught through books. “Few standards like nursery students should be taught without books. The teacher needs to be trained who can make students explain everything without asking them to rely on books,” it has recommended. The committee has suggested that there was an immediate need to reduce the number of books for the students especially from fifth standard to eight.“Time management should be done in such a manner that students should learn more by giving them less,” it said.They had suggested abolishing of Public System of Examination by introducing Comprehensive and Continuous Examination. “Comprehensive and Continuous Examination means by holding exams of students unit wise. The public system of examination should be removed upto 10th as it subjects the students to mental stress. Even 12th class students also don’t need it as they have to go through the entrance tests for various courses later in colleges,” they had said. The committee in its recommendations has suggested a combined book system for students of all primary classes. The committee has asserted in its report that books of five subjects covering one semester should be kept in one book which will automatically reduce the weight of schools bags. The report has also suggested that using of lightweight school bags, preferably waterproof; whose weight should not be more than 1.5 kg. Meanwhile, for the students of Class III to V, the committee has recommended that the session be divided into four quarters and the syllabus be divided into semesters. The report states that there should be selected chapters of every subject in one book for a particular semester while in the next semester same procedure should be followed. “All these recommendations await implementation,” an official said. “Children safety are no concern in JK.” The government had constituted the committee in August following High Court directions in a public interest litigation filed by Badrud Duja in 2016 seeking a comprehensive policy to reduce the burden of bags on students. A recent survey conducted by Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) under its Healthcare Committee has found that 68 per cent of school children under the age of 13 years across India may suffer from mild back pain, which can develop into chronic pain and later into a hunchback.