The Delhi government has issued new guidelines for the schools in the national capital to implement the new “school bag policy 2020” to reduce the weight of school bags.
The Directorate of Education (DoE) wrote a letter to the schools stating, “Heavy school bags are a serious threat to the health and well-being of school students. These have adverse physical effects on the growing children which can cause damage to their vertebral column and knees."
Adding, “Moreover, in the schools which are functioning in double or multi storey buildings, children have to climb the stairs with heavy school bags which further aggravates the problem,”
From no textbooks for pre-primary classes to single notebook for classes 1 and 2, frequent checks of school bags to ensure students do not carry heavy weight, informing the students and parents regarding appropriate kind of school bags and encouraging students to use both straps of bags, are among the recommendations made by the government.
School bag policy 2020 stated that the load of school bag is increased by bringing textbooks, guides, homework or classwork notebooks, rough work notebooks, water bottles, lunch box, and sometimes the heavy weight of the school bag itself. The number of textbooks in different classes should not exceed the number prescribed by the statutory bodies.
The letter read, “Heads of schools and teachers should frame a well-designed timetable for each class so that children do not have to carry too many books or notebooks to the school each day,”
“For other classes, there shall be one notebook for each subject for exercises, projects, unit tests, experiments, among others, which the students need to bring as per the timetable. Students should not be asked to bring additional books or extra materials to the school,” it said.
As per the suggestions, which are in line with the new National Education Policy (NEP), the weight of school bags for students between classes 1-10 should not be more than 10 per cent of their body weight.