Published: 28th March 2019
HC directs DPI to reply to petition seeking to lighten the weight of school bags in two weeks
The petitioner said the CBSE director had issued a circular in 2016 directing all its affiliated schools to take appropriate steps for reducing the weight of school bags
The Kerala High Court on Thursday directed the Director of Public Instructions and the General Education Secretary to file an affidavit within two weeks in response to a petition seeking to lighten the weight of school bags. The court made it clear that if the response is not filed, the officers would have to be personally present before the court on the next date of posting.
The court issued the order on a petition filed by Dr Johny Cyriac of Kochi 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.
The government pleader submitted that he could not get instruction either from the Director or the Secretary of the General Education Department.
The petitioner said carrying heavy school bags had an adverse effect on students’ health. He said the CBSE director had issued a circular in 2016 directing all its affiliated schools to take appropriate steps for reducing the weight of school bags.
In fact, the circular had suggested schools to formulate a weekly time table in a way that a minimum number of textbooks are carried by students on a given day. Textbooks for classes I to VIII should be made lightweight. It also suggested that no homework be assigned to students of Classes I and II. The circular further said students should be instructed not to bring heavy water bottles to school and the institution should ensure adequate supply of safe, potable water on the campus.