HYDERABAD: Putting rest to the blame game between schools and parents at least temporarily, the government’s directive has been lauded by parents. However, education activists have taken it with a pinch of salt. Ilyas Syed, whose daughter studies in Class VIII, has been raising the issue of reduction in the weight of school bags at every parent’s teacher meeting.
“Every time the teachers tell us to ensure that children get books only as per the time table. But what they overlook is that they have four books each for English and Hindi and three for maths which have to be carried daily along with other subject books. The practice of subscribing additional textbooks by schools is what needs to be done away with,” he said.
The parent of a Class VI student has to drop her child to school close to their house only because it’s difficult for her to walk with the heavy bag. “Many kids get dropped to school even if it is nearby because of the bag’s weight. I am happy the government has come up with the directive,” Vidya Prasad said. Parents’ hope, however, doesn’t find resonance with educational activists.
N Narayan, for instance, doesn’t mince words when he says there is no way the guidelines will have any bearing on condition of students in private schools. “It cannot be implemented in private schools.
As against the six or seven books prescribed for Secondary classes, students of such schools use 27-28 books. It’s not required but that’s how they run additional incomes. It may be implemented in government schools which use only SCERT prescribed books,” said the activist. He added on earlier occasions too the Director of School Education had issued similar notifications but it had little effect.
Teachers too feel that the increasing competition among schools has led to unnecessary mental and physical stress among students. Sheik Shabir Ali, member of Telangana Private teachers Forum, pointed that GO MS no 1 also stated that bags should be only 10 pc of a child’s body weight. “But private schools students have bags that weigh around 20 kg,” he said.