What Is The School Bag Policy 2020: Reducing Weight Of School Bags

school bag policy

The School Bag Policy 2020 aims to alleviate the burden on students by addressing the weight of school bags. Enforced to enhance the well-being of students, this policy focuses on streamlining educational materials, promoting digital resources, and encouraging ergonomic designs. In this article by EuroSchool, we delve into the transformative School Bag Policy 2020.

What Is The School Bag Policy?

The genesis of the School Bag Policy 2020 can be traced back to a growing body of research and widespread advocacy highlighting the negative consequences associated with heavy school bags. Numerous studies have linked carrying heavy loads to musculoskeletal problems, including back pain, shoulder strain, and poor posture, among school-age children. Moreover, excessive weight has been identified as a factor contributing to fatigue, reduced concentration, and increased stress levels, ultimately impacting the overall quality of education. The School Bag Policy 2020 is a testament to the collaborative efforts of parents, educators, and healthcare professionals to prioritise the well-being of students.

Are the School Bags Heavy?

In the survey published by the Department of School Education and Literacy Ministry of Education, Government of India, 48.8% of school heads said that they weigh the school bag of their children. Out of this, 19% of school heads found from the weight of school bags for primary classes (I-V) that the bags are heavy. It is generally found to vary from 2 to 3.5 Kg, but two school heads said that it varies from 3 to 5 Kg. This means children are carrying bags of weight 2 to 3 Kg more than the permissible weight i.e. 10%  of the body weight which is universally accepted.

Items found contributing to excessive load were—

  1. Textbooks- 500 gms to 3.5 Kg
  2. Notebooks– 200 gms to 2.5 Kg
  3. Lunch box 200 gms to 1 kg
  4. Water bottle 200 gms to 1 Kg

The weight of the empty bag was also found to be varying from 150 gms to 1 Kg. Reference books were also found to contribute to the weight of the school bag from Classes IX onwards.

Also Read: Tips to help kids crack the first school interview

Recommendations for the Reduction of Weight of School Bag

Here are some recommendations by the Department of School Education and Literacy
Ministry of Education, Government of India.

Regular Checking of the Weight of School Bags in the School

Since schooling is a continuous process and every year new children join the school, the checking of weight of school bags needs to be made a regular practice in school by keeping a weighing machine functional on the school premises.

From Classes I to V, teachers must take the responsibility of checking the weight of school bags of children randomly every three months on a day selected for the whole class. Information about the heavy bag needs to be communicated to the parents of the child and the bag needs to be monitored for a week or two to ensure that the child starts carrying a lighter bag. This needs to be done in a very polite way and in the form of counselling rather than in the form of hard instructions.

From Class IV onward teachers need to use this activity for clarifying the relative concepts in Mathematics and age-body weight relation in Science, etc. This activity may be used as a pedagogic intervention in the classroom for understanding concepts in Environmental Studies, Science, Mathematics, Languages and Social Sciences.

Time Table

The class timetable should indicate which book will be used on which day. The timetable needs to be flexible including block periods (two continuous periods for the same subject). Block period (two periods for a subject together) approach to be used from Classes I-VIII wherein teaching of fewer subjects for more duration needs to be organised per day. For primary classes, a two subjects per day approach will help in a substantial reduction of the weight of the school bag.  At the beginning of the academic session, once the subject timetable for a class is finalised. The Head of School needs to ensure a fair distribution of textbook weight per day for students of Classes I to XII.

Note Books

Single notebooks need to be used for Classes I and II for classwork only. Two notebooks for classwork and homework for Classes III-V. At a time only one notebook shall be allowed in a child’s bag, the second one will be kept in school.

For Classes VI-VIII, one file with loose paper needs to be used for classwork and homework.
Systematic use of files with loose sheets needs to be promoted from Class VI onwards,

Students need to be taught how to use ‘filing’ efficiently and intelligently so that loose sheets do not become lost sheets. Files and thin exercise books should be preferred to thick ones. From the primary stage, students should be given systematic training in the proper use of school files and homework filing systems.

Involving Parents on the Issue of School Bag

Awareness-building programmes for parents and students during the Parent Teacher Meetings (PTM) and also utilising the media need to be arranged from time to time. In the Parent Teacher Meetings, it needs to be discussed and advocated that the bag used for children should be made of a light material, and should not have wheels, as while lifting the stairs, the wheels may hurt the children. Its interior needs to be compartmentalised to prevent shifting of the contents from side to side as this creates discomfort for the child. It needs to have two shoulder straps, which should be used so that the bag is carried squarely on the back. The shoulder straps need to be padded, to prevent any ‘digging’ effect at the shoulder. The length of the straps should be adjustable to suit the individual needs of different physiques.

EuroSchool does not overburden students with heavy school bags. Take a look at EuroSchool’s admission process for academic success and holistic development. Contact our EuroSchool campus for accurate and up-to-date details. Here’s a list of our EuroSchool campuses

Schools in Mumbai
Schools in Pune
Schools in Bangalore
Schools in Hyderabad

Admission Enquiry