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Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: As per one of the suggestions made in the School Bag Policy 2020 prepared by the Education Ministry, the weight of the school bag should be 10% of the bodyweight of the student carrying it.

Official sources said that the weight of Class 1 and 2 student's bag should be around 1.6 to 2.2 kg as the average body weight of a child in that age group is between 16 and 22 kg. Similarly, Class 11 and 12 students can carry a 3.5 to 5 kg bag as the average weight of children in that age is around 35 to 50 kg.

Every school should display this chart prominently on the notice board of the school and in each classroom.

Regular Checking Of Weight Of School Bag In The School:

The checking of weight of school bag needs to be made a regular practice in school by keeping a weighing machine functional in the school premises.

From Classes I to V, teachers must take the responsibility of checking the weight of the school bag of children randomly every three months on a day selected for the whole class.

Information about the heavy bag needs to be communicated to the parents of the child and the bag needs to be monitored for a week or two for ensuring that the child starts carrying a lighter bag

From Class IV onward teachers need to use this activity for clarifying the relative concepts in Mathematics and age-body weight relation in Science, etc. This activity may be used as a pedagogic intervention in the classroom for understanding concepts in Environmental Studies, Science, Mathematics, Languages and Social Sciences.

Time Table:

(a) The class time table should indicate which book will be used on which day. The time table needs to be flexible including block periods (two continuous periods for the same subject).
Block period (two periods for a subject together) approach to be used from Classes I-VIII wherein teaching of fewer subjects for more duration needs to be organised per day.

For primary classes, two subjects per day approach will help in the substantial reduction of the weight of the school bag.

(b) At the beginning of the academic session, once the subject time table for a class is finalised, the Head of School needs to ensure a fair distribution of textbook weight per day for students of Classes I to XII.

(c) When more than one textbook for the same subject are prescribed, students should know which of the textbooks is to be used on any particular day. This information should form part of the official school time table and is to be followed by both students and teachers.

It is clear from the table that in primary classes, the total weight of all the textbooks does not exceed 2 Kg. If all the subjects are not being taught on a day or if sharing of books is allowed among peers, then this weight will be reduced to 1 Kg. This also applies for upper primary and secondary classes.

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