Mumbai: Students continue to suffer as the weight of school bags are not being checked by the state education department. Vinod Tawde, state minister for school and higher education, revealed that schools with boards other than the state board curriculum are not allowing the department to conduct these checks or interfere in any form.
On the contrary, Tawde claimed the checks are completed in 95 per cent of state board schools. But when the Free Press Journal visited the state education department which is responsible for these checks, the concerned officers revealed survey reports which did not contain any details of schools in Mumbai and Thane. The reports mentioned survey details of only civic-run schools in other regions of Maharashtra but there was no data of a single school of Mumbai.
The weight of a school bag should not be more than 1/10th of the weight of a student as per a government notification of July 2015. This means if a student weighs around 40 kilograms then the school bag of that student should not weigh more than 4 kg. In order to maintain this policy the department is responsible to conduct constant checks and physical inspections in schools.
Tawde mentioned schools with other boards and international curriculum should be open to these checks. Tawde said, “CBSE or ICSE or even international board schools are not allowing us to interfere with their curriculum at all so we are unable to conduct these checks. We have limited staff for these checks. We have completed 95 per cent of checks in state run schools.” Tawde has informed Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister of Human Resource Development (MHRD), to resolve this issue with schools.
In opposing this, state schools mentioned they have not witnessed any physical inspection to check weight of school bags. A principal of a SCC school, said, “We have not seen any physical inspection or any officer coming personally to our school for a survey. The education department has asked us to maintain a register and enter details of the weight of school bags on a monthly basis. Isn’t this the job of the department?”