Mumbai schools' new mantra for school bags: 10 per cent or less

Keeping in line with the HC's directive to ensure that school bags weigh no more than 10 per cent of the student's weight, schools have come up with innovative ways to reduce the load; while some have tweaked timetables, others have installed shelves in classrooms

With the Bombay High Court (HC) upholding the state government’s decision to have a cap on the weight of school bags, schools now have to make arrangements to ensure that the bags weigh no more than 10 per cent of the student’s weight. Post Diwali vacations, schools have already started making changes to their daily schedules, like allotting fewer number of books or allowing students to keep bags in their staff rooms.

Also read: HC asks Maharashtra to issue circular on weight of school bags

Many schools have asked students to only use 100-page notebooks. File pic for representation
Many schools have asked students to only use 100-page notebooks. File pic for representation

“We have already made sure that students don’t have to carry too many books in a day to school. The daily schedule has been tweaked, so that students carry lesser books. In case students need a particular book regularly, we have decided to make space for the books in our staff room so that students don’t have to carry the same one everyday,” said Uday Nare, a teacher at Hansraj Morarji Public School in Andheri (W).

He added that most schools are finding it difficult to follow all the rules as prescribed by the department to lighten the weight of school bags, but most are coming up with inventive ways to do the same.

'Fancy' notebooks out
Many schools have already asked students to only use 100-page notebooks, instead of 200-page ones. Schools are also going back to giving worksheets instead of written notes to cut down on the number of books.

Also read: 58 per cent school kids suffer from ailment due to heavy bags

“Many times students end up picking fancy pencil boxes, tiffin-boxes and water bottles, but parents forget to see that all this also adds extra weight to the bag. We have issued strict orders saying that no fancy books or stationery will be allowed with the children,” said the vice-principal of an ICSE school in Thane.

She added that her school is also planning to make space for lockers in school classrooms, so that students don’t have to lug all books everyday. “We introduced shelves in all classrooms so that our students can leave books in school.

The problem, however, lies in the fact that students often don’t follow the set time-table and end up carrying more books, which adds to the weight of the bag,” said Rekha Shahani, trustee of Kamla High School, Khar. She added that time and again, the school has reiterated this point to parents to ensure that students follow the timetable, which will help in lightening the weight of the school bags.

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