HYDERABAD: Even as the Maharashtra government passed a resolution to reduce the burden of children, putting a cap on the weight of school bags at 10 per cent of a student’s body weight, students across Telangana continue carrying abnormally heavy bags to school.
As the enhanced curriculum requires a separate textbook and notebook for almost every subject, backpacks have turned into backbreakers for the hapless children.
The Children’s Schoolbag Act enacted in 2006 states that the school bag should not weigh more 10 per cent of the body weight of the student.
While the Maharashtra government has already passed a resolution to this effect, Telangana is yet to see any significant action to bring relief to the hapless children.
“We are trying to ensure that only government books are used in all state-run schools across Telangana. We want to do away with all private textbooks. The matter is currently pending before the court and once the judgement is announced, we will review the situation,” informed T Chiranjeevulu, director of School Education, Telangana state.
When asked how doing away with private textbooks will help the children’s cause, he said, “Government textbooks are much lighter. In fact, if the court rules in our favour, the weight of children’s bag would be less than even 5 per cent of their body weight.”
Parents, on the other hand, are unconvinced and want the government and schools to collectively take measures to reduce the burden on the children.
“It’s a struggle for the children to get to the school with the heavy load of books. The number of classes have increased and each teacher expects separate workbooks, textbooks and notebooks for each subject. Carrying so many books makes it extremely difficult for them not only in terms of weight, but also the work load,” pointed out Kamal Maliramani, a member of Hyderabad school parents’ association.
Suggesting measures to alleviate the workload of students, he said, “ Schools can also provide locker facility to the children, which will make the task much easier. That way, what is required at home can be kept at home and what is required at school can stay in school. It has to be a collective effort from the part of schools and the government.”