Heavy school bags: DSEK wakes up from slumber

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 A day after Greater Kashmir reported about health complications faced by children due to heavy bags, the Education department has directed all the private schools to re-frame the time table in their institutions to reduce burden on the students.
The circular in this regard was issued by the Director School Education Kashmir (DSEK) Dr. G N Itoo on Monday.
In its circular to private schools, DSEK has stated that students are being subjected to heavy book load as per prevailing time table fixed by various private educational institutions functioning in Srinagar as well as in other parts of Kashmir—causing health problem for the students in their tender age.
“Even the issue has been highlighted in the print media, indicating that this kind of situation can lead to various ailments of children at younger age,” reads the circular.
The School Education department has directed the heads of all the schools, particularly Principals of Private schools functioning in Srinagar and other districts to ensure that the time table is framed in such a manner that minimum book load is required to be carried by the students.
“This is a matter of serious concern and needs to be addressed immediately,” reads the DSEK circular.
Greater Kashmir in its Monday edition had reported that in absence of regulation by authorities, school going kids in Kashmir are forced to carry heavy school bags— taking toll on their health.
The heavy baggage according to experts can cause joint deformity in school going children who are in tender age.
Students enrolled in private schools across Kashmir are forced to carry school bags heavier than the recommended weight. Besides, these schools prescribe additional books to the students, particularly in lower classes and force them to carry all the books to school every day.
“It is advised that the schools should work out a strategy where under the extra books may be retained in the schools and be given to the students as and when required,” reads the circular issued by DSEK.
The department has sought a compliance report from all the private schools within two days.
“The compliance of above shall be intimated to the Directorate within two days positively, failing which action as warranted under rules shall be taken against deviants,” reads the DSEK circular.
Meanwhile, Private School Association Kashmir (PSAK) has welcomed the move and said the association will issue guidelines to all the private schools within a week and  implement government orders.
“But the only issue with economy private schools is that they don’t have infrastructure facilities as compared to elite schools. 95 percent students are in economy schools but we will take measures to streamline the time table and reduce burden on small school going children," President PSAK G N Var.
He said the PSAK will also constitute a syllabus and book committee to look into the issue.

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