Raids Continue To Check School Bag Weights In Odisha

Bhubaneswar: The ongoing enforcement drive to ensure that students do not carry heavy load in their bags continued for the second consecutive day on Thursday with the special squad conducting surprise raids in several schools in Bhubaneswar.

The special squads deployed by the Khurda administration carried out inspections in several schools in Bhubaneswar and found some students were carrying bags that weighed beyond the prescribed limit, sources said.

“Everything was as per norms. However, it was a surprise for us that students were carrying extra pencil boxes. We will ask guardians to send their wards with textbooks and other articles as per time table,” said P. Patnaik, principal of Mothers Public School.

The squads have been formed at district level to ensure proper implementation of Ministry of Human Resource Development’s (MHRD) guidelines on school bags.

Apart from the weight of school bags, efforts are underway to check whether the students were using NCERT and SCERT-prescribed books as per the norms.

“We have found that despite instructions from school authorities, some students are carrying extra copies and other articles. We have asked school authorities to create awareness in this regard,” said Amita Patnaik, District Project Officer, Khurda.

Earlier this year, the Odisha School and Mass Education department had asked the collectors and district education officers to conduct surprise inspections and take action against schools found violating norms on the weights of school bags.

The MHRD in October last year had directed all states to draw up guidelines for reducing the weight of schoolbags.

As per the guidelines, the maximum weight of the school bag for students of Classes I and II should not exceed 1.5 kg while the weight of bags of students from Classes III to V should not be more than three kilograms.

The weight of school bags of Class VI and VII students should not be more than four kilograms, for Classes VIII and IX should be 4.5 kilograms and for Class X, it should not exceed five kilograms, official sources said.

(With PTI Inputs)