Delhi Asks Government Schools to Ensure Bag Weight Criteria
the rules for capping the weight of bags for classes 1-10, Delhi's Directorate
of Education (DoE) has asked heads of government schools in the capital to
ensure that bags for students in Class 1 and 2 should not be above 1.5 kg,
while they should not be given any homework.
The DoE issued a circular on Monday, citing its order of last year, and asked the schools to fix the bag weights for classes 3 to 5 (two-three kg), classes 6-7 (four kg), Classes 8-9 (4.5 kg), and Class 10 (five kg). It also asked the schools not to assign any homework to Class 1 and 2 children.
It further asked schools to inform the students in advance about the books and notebooks to be brought to the school on a particular day. Last year, following thge Centre's order to ensure no homework for students of Classes 1 and 2 and the guidelines for capping the weight of school bags for classes 1-10, the Delhi DoE had issued a circular to reduce the weight of school bags citing health hazard for the students. The guidelines were again "reiterated", Monday's order said. The DoE directed schools to ensure strict implementation of guidelines on reducing the weight of school bags.
"In reference to the earlier circular on reducing the weight of school bags in primary and secondary schools, it is again reiterated that the guidelines about reducing the weight of school bags shall be complied by all Heads of government, government-aided and unaided recognized schools under the DoE," the circular issued on Monday said.
The load of the school bag, according to the circular, is increased by bringing textbooks, guides, homework and class work notebooks, rough work notebooks, water bottles, lunch box, and sometimes by the weight of the bag itself.
"Three textbooks (of Hindi, English and Mathematics) have been prescribed for classes 1 and 2. There shall not be any homework for these classes. As per the prescribed curriculum, six textbooks have been prescribed for classes 6 to 10 – three textbooks for three languages and one for Maths, Science and Social Studies each," it said.
There shall be one notebook for each subject for exercises, projects, unit test, experiments, among others, which the students need to bring as per timetable, the DoE said. Students should not be asked to bring additional books, extra materials to the school, it said.
"All the schools running under Directorate of Education have 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 Head 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," the circular said. "The heavy school bag has a severe, adverse physical affect on the growing children which can cause damage to their vertebral column and knees. Moreover, in the schools which are functioning in double/multi-storey buildings. the children have to climb the stairs with heavy School Bags which further aggravates the problem. It also causes anxiety in them.
"The schools/parents must ensure that students carry books only according to the timetable. Students should be encouraged to repack their bags on a daily basis and avoid carrying unnecessary articles, textbooks that are not needed. The school must frequently check the bag to ensure that the students are not carrying heavy bags with unnecessary material," it added. It asked schools to inform the students and parents regarding appropriate kind of school bags. The DoE also advised schools to provide safe drinking water so students can avoid carrying of drinking water bottles from their home.