Lighter school bags for students govt sets up panel

The J&K Government has constituted a committee of experts to suggest steps to reduce the weight of schoolbags of students.
In an order issued by the Secretary of School Education Department, Farooq Ahmad Shah, the government has constituted a four-member committee of educational experts to look into ways to help reduce the weight of schoolbags.
The committee members include former Head of Department, Commerce, University of Kashmir, AG Madhosh, former college principals Nusrat Andrabi and Abdul Jabbar, and secretary of Jammu and Kashmir Board of School Education Veena Pandita.
The members have been asked to come up with the report within one month.
The issue of heavy school bags was highlighted by a recent survey by Government Medical College, Srinagar. The study concluded that children from schools across Kashmir were carrying school bags heavier than the recommended weight and in the absence of any regulation, they were posing a serious health risk to children.
The survey by the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine of Government Medical College, Srinagar, revealed that in Kashmir 83.7 per cent of the students carried bags heavier than 10 per cent of their body weight.
The survey which was carried out across government and private schools in four districts of Kashmir studied over 2,000 children, exposing gross disregard for recommendations regarding the weight allowed for school bags.
According to the Children’s School Bag Act, 2006, a school bag should not weigh more than 10 per cent of a child’s total body weight.
The medical college survey revealed that in Kashmir only 16.3 per cent of the children had school bags with the permissible weight.
Parents have been expressing concern over the issue, saying that the heavy school bags were taking a toll on the normal development of children.
“The heavy burden of bags on children as young as five is taking a toll on their health. The government must come out with strict orders for all schools,” said Naseema Jan, a mother from Srinagar.

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