The Delhi Government has directed schools in the national capital to ensure strict implementation of guidelines on reducing weight of school bags. The HRD Ministry had formed the guidelines in 2016 to ensure students do not get bogged down with the burden of carrying heavy bags to schools.
"We have sent fresh directive to schools to ensure strict implementation of guidelines. Heavy school bags are a serious threat to the health and wellbeing of school students," a senior official of the Directorate of Education (DoE) said.
"Heavy school bags have a severe, adverse physical effect on growing children which can cause damage to their vertebral column and knees. Moreover, in schools which are functioning in double or multi storey buildings, the children have to climb stairs with heavy school bags which further aggravates the problem. It also causes anxiety in them," the official added.
The guidelines were framed after it was observed that the load of school bag is increased by bringing textbooks, guides, homework and classwork notebooks, rough work notebooks, water bottles, lunch box, sometimes heavy school bags also.
As per the guidelines’ schools are required to follow the textbooks prescribed by the SCERT, NCERT and CBSE. "The number of textbooks in different classes should not exceed the number prescribed by the above said statutory bodies. The principals and teachers should frame a well-designed time table for each class so that children do not have to carry too many books or notebooks to the school each day.
"The school should provide safe drinking water so as to avoid carrying of drinking water bottles by students from their home. The parents should be counselled about health issues arising out of the children carrying heavy school bags. "Schools should not prescribe additional or supplementary books that are costly and designed in a pedagogically unsound manner," the guidelines said.