Special squads deployed by the Khurda administration in Odisha conducted surprise checks in state capital schools on Wednesday and found some students were carrying bags that weighed beyond the prescribed limit, an official said. The state government, complying with an order issued by the Orissa High Court, has recently formed squads at the district level to ensure proper implementation of Ministry of Human Resource Development's (MHRD) guidelines on school bags.
"We weighed bags in Bhubaneswar today and found out that some students were carrying additional books, which were not a part of their routine. The matter is being examined," said District Education Officer Namita Patnaik. Apart from the weight of school bags, the squads have also been asked to verify if the students were using NCERT- and SCERT-prescribed books.
Patnaik, who was part of a squad that carried out checks, said a notice might be sent to the schools after a thorough examination. Earlier this year, the School and Mass Education department had asked the collectors and district education officers to conduct surprise inspections and take action against schools found violating norms.
"The department had issued notices to all district authorities regarding the implementation of guidelines in various schools of the state. As per the orders by the Orissa High Court, the Khurda DEO has also been intimated by the collector to enforce the new rules," said School and Mass Education Minister Samir Ranjan Dash. The MHRD in October last year had directed all states to draw up guidelines for reducing the weight of schoolbags.
According to the guidelines, the maximum weight of the school bag for students of Classes I and II should not exceed 1.5 kg while the weight of bags of students from Classes III to V should not be more than three kg. Similarly, the school bag weight of Classes VI and VII should not be more than four kg, for Classes VIII and IX should be 4.5 kg and for Class X, it should not exceed five kg..
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