School students in Telangana can heave a sigh of relief, as the state government on Tuesday, issued guidelines on the number of textbooks that each student should carry.
Stating that it wanted to limit the load that the children carried to school every day, a Government Order was issued, which said, "The heavy load is caused by the fact that the children bring textbooks, guides, homework notebooks, rough work notebooks etc, to the classroom every day. Therefore, clear guidelines of what to bring to school is required."
A Times of India reported stated that "weight of the bag including textbooks, notebooks and the empty school bag, should not exceed 1.5 kg for class I and II students, must be below 3 kg for classes III to V, less than 4 kg for VI and VII classes, not more than 4.5 kg for students of classes VIII and IX and a maximum of 5kg for class X students."
"While the load of a school bag weighs about 6 to 12 kg at the primary level and 12 to 17 kg at the high school level, it has a adverse physical effect on growing children. It can damage their vertebral column, knees and can also cause anxiety disorders," the order added.
However, the GO is applicable only to state board schools, which make use of textbooks prescribed by the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT).
The Deccan Chronicle reported that students of classes I to V were not supposed to be given any homework, and that exercises had to be completed during school hours, under the supervision of teachers, according to the GO.
The DC report also quotes the guidelines as stating that there should only be one 100 page notebook for each subject, to record Formative Assessment items like tests and projects.
The Hindu reported that the 1,307-word guidelines in the GO also asks schools to supply pure drinking water, to prevent children from carrying heavy water bottles.
For higher classes, the GO states that homework for a particular subject, should be allocated on a specific day.