You can just carry a notebook, instead of a back-breaking heavy bag to this school and no disciplinary action will be taken against you. A model set up by a school in Wayanad in Kerala is winning hearts for all the right reasons.
The students of Serve India Adivasi Lower Primary School (SALPS), Thariode do not bear the daily burden of carrying heavy bags as the school authorities have come with a great solution. Out of 100 students in the school, 40 are tribal students and rest hail from economically weaker sections.
Carrying heavy bags also resulted in several health issues in children, mentioned the school authorities and therefore the children decided to happily bid goodbye to this bulk issue forever last week.
The method adopted by SALPS is not rocket science, rather simple and ingenious. Apart from declaring it “bag-free school”, the authorities have provided an extra set of notebooks which the children keep at home.
Also, the teachers and the PTA raised money to buy shelves in all classrooms, for students to keep their textbooks and notebooks along with their pencil boxes, lunch plates etc. The school authorities also provided free pencil boxes to all students to be kept inside their classrooms.
“Nowadays, there are a lot of activities as part of the curriculum and students have to bring additional notebooks like one for the quiz, another for writing library notes etc. A Class IV student carries over 10 books, including textbooks, with the bag weighing around 4kg. Now, students bring only one book in which they do the homework for all subjects,” said headmistress of the school, Nisha Devassia to TOI.
Further, in the coming week, a parent-teacher meeting will be organized where the students will be taught to make paper bags so that it comes handy while carrying an extra notebook or library book to school.
In November 2018, the ministry of human resources development prescribed the weight limit to school bags for each class and asked the state governments to ‘formulate guidelines to regulate the teaching of subjects and weight of school bags in accordance with the Government of India instructions.’
For students of classes I and II, the weight of the school bags will not exceed 1.5 kg and for Class III to V, the bags must weigh between 2- 3kg. Also, for the students of Classes VI and VII, it will be not more than 4kg, classes VIII and IX students shall not be above 4.5kg. Those studying in Class X student can carry school bags weighing 5kg, not more.
Can more schools in India follow this, please?