The Delhi government on Wednesday issued guidelines directing all schools in the national capital to implement the new ‘schoolbag policy’ to reduce the weight of school bags for students of primary, secondary and senior secondary schools.

According to the new guidelines, the weight of the school bag should be at a maximum of 3.5 kgs to 5 kgs.

The Ministry of Education had notified the new school bag policy last month which is in line with the new National Education Policy (NEP).

Under its School Bag Policy 2020, the state government has prescribed weight limits for school bags for students of different classes.

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% of their body weight.

“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.Moreover, in the schools which are functioning in double or multi-story buildings, children have to climb the stairs with heavy school bags which further aggravates the problem,” the Directorate of Education (DoE) said in a letter to school principals.

Measures suggested to reduce weight of school bags

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, encouraging students to use both straps of bags, are among the recommendations made by the government.

Some of the key measures that were suggested in the circular are as follows:

1. Schools to follow textbooks prescribed by SCERT, NCERT and CBSE only.

2. Schools to formulate well thought-out time table, so that students do not need to carry too many books on a single day.

3. No textbook prescribed for students of pre-primary classes.

4. Only a single notebook to be carried by class 1 and 2 students. For students of other classes, one notebook per subject to be prescribed.

6. No homework to be issued to students of classes 1 and 2.

7. Habit of reading library books should be developed among students.

“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.

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,” the letter stated

“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.

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