Panel suggests Single Book system for primary classes

The committee, constituted by the J&K Government to suggest ways to reduce weight of school bags, has recommended a combined book system up to the primary classes.
The government had constituted a four-member committee of educational experts in the last week of August to suggest ways to help reduce the weight of schoolbags.
The committee members include former Head of the Department Commerce, University of Kashmir, Prof AG Madhosh, Prof Nusrat Andrabi, former principal of the Government College for women, Prof Abdul Jabbar, ex-principal, and Veena Pandita, chairperson, J&K Board of School Education (BOSE).
“We have already given the recommendations. Now it depends on the government,” said Pandita.
A member of the committee said they had suggested the government to keep a single-book system up to the primary classes.
“We told the government why do the children need to carry five books every day. If the syllabus of all five subjects, term-wise, is kept in one book it will reduce the weight of schools bags. The pattern can be followed for different terms,” the member said, adding that they have also recommended integrated workbook for classwork.
Another member said they had suggested use of lightweight school bags, preferably waterproof, whose weight should not exceed 1.5 kg.
For students of Class III to V, the committee has recommended that the session be divided into four quarters and the syllabus be divided into semesters.
For the upper primary classes, the committee has suggested term-wise text books in a combined form, saying that students will carry combined books in their bags, besides combined notebooks for classwork on a term-basis.
The committee, in its report, has also said that the current trend of heavy schools bags among children has caused health problems in children.
The problem of heavy school bags among schoolchildren came to light in Kashmir after a recent survey by Government Medical College (GMC), Srinagar. The GMC study concluded that children from schools across Kashmir were carrying school bags heavier than the recommended weight and in the absence of any regulation the issue is posing a serious health risk to children.
The survey by the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, GMC, had revealed that in Kashmir schools, 83.7 per cent children carried bags heavier than 10 per cent of their body weight.
The survey, which was carried out across government and private schools in four districts of Kashmir, studied over 2,000 schoolchildren, exposing the gross neglect of the recommendations regarding school bags.
As per the Children’s School Bag Act, 2006, a school bag should not weigh more than 10 per cent of a child’s total body weight.
The survey revealed that in Kashmir only 16.3 per cent children had school bags within the permissible weight.
A senior government official said they had received the report and would take a final call soon.