Which Is Heavier, The Bag Or The Child?
Hyderabad: Summer holidays which brought cheer to children are over and schools are reopening on Monday. It’s just not the joy of buying bags, books and uniforms for children. More is waiting for them. Once the schools are opened, the weight of school bags is going to bother them more than the home work they have to do. Whether the kid is healthy or not, he/she has to carry the heavy bags. Many times the weight of these bags is more than the child’s weight itself, leading to spinal and other problems. If the school has one or two stairs, the hell a child undergoes is indescribable. The governments are apathetic to the plight of the children. While the Children’s School Bag Act-2006 says that the weight of the books should not be more than 10 percent of a child’s weight, the children are carrying bags which are 100 percent heavy.
While the Act says that the nursery, LKG and UKG children should not carry books, nobody is really bothering about it.
‘Nearly thirty lakh students are studying in 11 thousand schools in the State of Telangana. A lot of schools run classes in two, three storied buildings. This is leading to a lot of problems to the student who carries a heavy load of books.
The School Education Department weighed the books of the students as part of a survey. The department was shocked to find that the weight of the bags children carry in various schools was between 15kgs to 25 kgs. The education department estimated that while the weight of a UKG student is 14kgs, the weight of his bag is 3.5 kgs. And the seventh class student is carrying 10kgs weight, while his weight is around 35 kgs.
What does the Act say?
Nursery, LKG, UKG students should not carry school bags. The higher class students should not carry a school bag which is more than 10 percent of their weight.
The schools should guide the parents about the weight of school bag and the books they need to carry regularly.
The government should arrange for lockers for students to keep the books in government schools.
The managements of private schools should arrange for lockers and desks for every student. If these are not arranged or the rules are not followed, legal action should be taken against such schools.
A penalty up to ₹ 3 lakhs can be imposed. If they fail to follow the rules even after imposing a penalty, their recognition should be scrapped.
Doctors say, “If the weight of the bag is more, the physical growth will take a beating. It will impact the growth of bones and muscles. Neck, the upper portion of the spine, and the lower portion get affected leading to pain. The shoulder will not only protrude but also bend. Even the spinal cord is affected. The children will not be able to breathe properly and are attacked by Asthma.”