Kids' wait for reduced school bag weight may be over soon

Kids' wait for reduced school bag weight may be over soon

DSERT conducts survey across City schools, guidelines in the making

Kids' wait for reduced school bag weight may be over soon

The Department of State Educational Research and Training (DSERT) has conducted a survey on the weight of school bags of children across the City in an effort to formulate a child-friendly policy that will reduce the burden on schoolchildren.

A team of experts visited as many as 24 schools, including private aided, private unaided, State board schools, government schools, CBSE and ICSE schools, to conduct a comprehensive survey on the weight of school bags. The one-day survey was conducted on December 8 by eight teams of academicians from DSERT.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Jayakumar S, Director, DSERT, said that the survey was conducted as per the directions of the Ministry of Human Resource Development and the State government. “The main objective of the exercise is to ascertain the reality of the situation in City schools. It will take at least a month to compile the data obtained, after which, a list of recommendations will be prepared and submitted to the State government to take a final call,” he said.

Sri Kumarans Children’s Home, Vijaya High School and Carmel School, were some of the schools where the survey was conducted.

Ujjwal Karthik, a class 5 student from a school in Indiranagar, said: “I have to carry more than 12 books and textbooks everyday. There are times when I feel the strain due to the weight. It would be nice if the weight was lesser,” he said.

Best practices 
The survey report will also include some of the best practices that are being followed in schools, said VP Niranjan Aradhaya, faculty, National Law School of India University (NLSIU), who was also a part of one of the teams conducting the survey. 

“It was a massive one-day exercise that we had been planning for quite some time. A framework of guidelines will be compiled on the ideal schoolbag weight. The recommendations might be implemented within the next academic year,” he added.

He further said that the findings of the survey can be applicable to the entire State. “If we are able to understand the situation in Bengaluru, I am of the opinion that the scenario is quite similar across Karnataka,” he said.

Not more than 10 pc

In 2013, a survey was conducted on the weight of school bags across schools in Mysuru by Pratham, an NGO. It was found that in some cases each school bag weighed over 10 kg. According to the Children’s Schoolbag Act, 2006, the weight of a schoolbag should not be more than 10 per cent of the child’s body weight.

The Bombay High Court recently asked the Maharasthra government to cut down the weight of school bags.

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