Published: 27th April 2019
CBSE yet to conform to guidelines on heavy school bags, no instruction to make books lighter
The Kerala state education department had given guidelines on the maximum weight of school bags, and CBSE schools are yet to take measures regarding this
Even as the state education department directed all the schools in the state to follow the guidelines on the weight of school bags issued by the Union government, the CBSE schools are yet to take appropriate measures.
According to D Jessy Joseph, DPI in-charge, the CBSE schools in the state did not take any measures, either by reducing the pages of textbooks or instructing the students not to bring water bottles and heavyweight study materials.
"We have taken steps by reducing the pages of textbooks which are being printed and will be distributed in three volumes. Now, the pages of the textbooks of each volume are having 60 pages. Similarly, we have directed the school headmasters to ensure that students do not bring water bottles as the schools should have the facility of providing fresh drinking water to the children. But the CBSE has not taken any steps in this regard even though there are a considerable amount of children studying in CBSE schools. This is a serious matter of concern", Jessy said.
The state government has already directed schools to follow the guidelines and they have also asked the schools to constitute a team of teachers at each school to ensure that the guidelines are followed.
Meanwhile, TPM Ibrahim Khan, CBSE school Management Association President, told Express that the association would recommend the CBSE regional office to direct the CBSE schools in the state to keep the textbooks in schools and to print the textbooks in different volumes.
At present, the textbooks for CBSE syllabus are printed in a single volume and the number of pages is very high.
"We can't reduce the pages of textbooks by compromising the contents of the book. But we will surely take measures to print the books in different volumes and instruct the students to keep textbooks in school. The students can take textbooks home during weekends. This is a possible solution and we will request the regional office to implement these suggestions", Ibrahim Khan said.
Last year, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) in a circular had asked all states and Union Territories to formulate guidelines to regulate the teaching of subjects and the weight of school bags. This move comes as a bid to guard the health and physical development of children. Following the circular, human rights activists based in Kochi approached High Court seeking a directive to the CBSE and the state government for taking immediate steps to ensure no school student carried school bags heavier than 10 per cent of his/her body weight.
However, the state government had informed the High court that the government has taken steps including reduction of volumes of textbooks, to bring down the weight of school bags of students in all the schools. In an affidavit, the government had said the textbook officer had taken steps to reduce the volumes of the books as part of implementing an order of the State Human Rights Commission.