The School Education Department, Kashmir has directed the heads of educational institutions in the valley to reduce the weight of the bags. “Heavy school bags are a serious threat to the health and well-being of students. The heavy school bag has severe or adverse physical effects on growing children which can cause damage to their vertebral column and knees,” the department said.
As such, it stated, heads of all schools of Kashmir Division (government as well as private) are hereby directed to strictly adhere to the revised guidelines of School Bag Policy, 2020-released by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) to reduce the weight of school bags for students in primary, secondary and senior secondary schools.
The weight of the school bags, as per the policy, should be 1.6 to 2.2 kilogram (kg) for students of grade one and two, 1.7 to 2.5 kg for grade third, fourth and fifth, two to three kg for grade sixth and seventh, 2.5 to four kg for grade eigth, 2.5 to 4.5 kg for grade ninth and 10 and 3.5 to five kg for grade 11 and 12.
School teachers should inform the students in advance about the books and notebooks to be brought to school on a particular day and frequently check their bags to ensure that they are not carrying unnecessary material, it directed.
There should be no bag for kindergarten (KG) classes and the teachers should take the responsibility of checking the weight of school bags of the students and any information about heavy bags should be communicated to the parents to reduce the weight of the school bag, it said.
The department further stated that it is the duty and the responsibility of the school management to provide quality potable water in sufficient quantity to all the students in the school so that they do not need to carry water bottles from their homes. The files and thin or light exercise books should be preferred to thick or heavy ones, and the instructions shall be strictly adhered to.
With inputs from PTI.