Overweight School Bags: Committee recommends primary education without books


Srinagar, Nov 14: The four member expert committee on reducing weight of school bags has suggested avoiding textbooks for primary classes.
The committee submitted its report two week ago, while the hearing on the related Public Interest Litigation (PIL) is scheduled on Wednesday.
The four member expert committee comprises of noted academic Prof A G Madhosh, Prof Nusrat Andrabi, member of Indian Red Cross Society, Prof Abdul Jabbar, ex-principal Government Degree College Bemina and Prof Veena Pandita, Secretary Jammu and Kashmir Board of School Education.
Prof Madhosh informed that the committee has primarily focused on introducing teaching method that would not require books at school level.
“We have suggested that the teachers should be trained to teach students without books. Books should not be mandatory for classes including nursery, Lower Kinder Garten (LPG) and Upper Kinder Garten (UKG),” he said.
Madhosh said the committee has actually customised Yashpal Committee 1992’s recommendation to suit Kashmir.
“Yashpal Committee recommendation was applicable at universal level but we have modified it to make it Kashmir specific. We have focused on reducing academic weight rather than bags for a student,” he said.
Madhsoh said that the report has also suggested the government to hold examination semester wise at school level.
“We suggested that various subjects should be combined in one book. There should be selected chapters of every subject in one book for a particular semester. Then the next semester must follow the same suit,” he said.
The academician said that the report has also mentioned the government to frame syllabus age-wise for various standards.
“For first two classes there should be just two books, which naturally will reduce the weight of the bag. We are not seeking elimination of school bags as it is the identity of every student. But focus should be what is there in the bag,” he said.
Badrud Duja, a law student submitted a PIL earlier in Jammu and Kashmir High Court seeking comprehensive policy by the government to reduce burden of bags on students.
Hearing a contempt petition, earlier a division bench of Chief Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed and Justice Sanjeev Kumar observed that a complete compliance report was needed in this regard.Later in an order no 558- Edu of 2017, the state government in August framed a committee, directing them to submit the report within one month.