We saw that School Bag Policy 2020 is a casual and miserable attempt to help students. The recommendations of School Bag Policy 2020 increase the weight of school bags further. So, how to deal with the issue? The solution is simple – School Without School Bags.
There are a host of recommendations that academicians/learning experts/schools/courts/activists – in short – Adults will come up with to reduce the weight of school bags. Each of these measures is a tried and tested failure. Yet, they keep going around serving no purpose whatsoever.
Let’s go through this list of failures to convince us that there is no other solution than a school without school bags.
The Failed Recommendations
The locker @ schools: If schools do have the bandwidth for additional space and infrastructure, they rather use it for play-grounds and spacious classrooms. Not a feasible concept for the majority of schools.
Replace books with tablets: Another impractical suggestion. Till the time, the students are rid of written exams, the books can’t get replaced.
Bagless Days: Well, the children face the issue of carrying the weight of school bags on all the days and not on just one day of the week. Is the objective to get rid of the burden on one day and then, pile it up on other days?
Students to be given food and water in school: Apart from mid-day meal serving Government schools and high-end private schools that last for the whole day, other schools can’t follow this dictum. Is it practically possible for 500 + students to drink water in 20-30 minutes from 5-10 taps (and they drink water in the last 5-10 minutes of the recess and not the first 10-15 minutes)?
Moreover, it is not lunch boxes and water bottles that make the weight of school bags but notebooks, textbooks, reference books and the lot. This recommendation is barking at the wrong tree.
School bags to be made of lighter material: Arre, why don’t they get it? It is not the school bag that is heavy, what is inside the bag, that is heavy. Another option shooting from the hip.
- Notebooks will be made of 40 pages, hence it will be lighter.
- Schools will follow the semester/trimester pattern. Books will be divided into 2/3 parts, hence they will be lighter.
- Students will be given two sets of textbooks, one for home and one for school.
- Schools can have block/double periods of the same subject. Hence, students need to carry lesser books.
And who will keep track of these multiple sets of books? The poor child has more than enough to lift, now he/she will have more than enough to keep count/tally of. She/he might end up carrying every set of books – home/school/finished/unfinished, increasing the weight further. It is sheer torture to keep studying the same subject for one and a half hour or more. Only the adults can come up with inane suggestions like this. Give the poor child a break.
Please bring up other options, if any and you can see for yourself that they are unworkable too. If you feel otherwise and are convinced about the feasibility of any of the suggestions above to reduce the weight of school bags, please show them in a live application in more than 5 schools.
School Without School Bags
The student spends 5-8 hours in school. After that, the poor fellow has to attend tuitions/coaching classes, now the study apps also get added to the list. Further, consider sports/dance/music/any other classes of the parent’s choice. The child has to have screen time too. Where is the time for him/her to study at home? Then, why not keep the school bag at school only?
Where to keep the school bag in school? There are no locker/shelves? But, why do you need one? There is nothing that happens in the classroom once the students leave. The school bag can very well be left on the student’s desk. What’s the worry about safety? It is a school, after all. Not a place for pick-pockets.
The student has to do homework, so he/she needs to carry books home. But, I suppose the expert group appointed by the Ministry of Education has said that there is no homework up to Class II, a maximum of two hours a week from Classes III-V, middle school (from Classes VI-VIII), a maximum of one hour a day.
For this minimal work, what is the need to carry the entire school bag? Why not keep homework books at home and send the snap-shots to the teacher for checking? This is claimed to be happening during the online learning of the COVID-19 period, why not co-opt changes during the normal period?
The student has to do project work. Well, project work requires a different set of materials and books altogether. Let’s not club it with the regular school bag.
What about tuitions/coaching classes? They give their own study-material. They have no use of what is carried in a school bag.
But, the student has to study for exams. The poor chap is being continuously taught in schools/coaching classes/tuitions/apps. Do you really feel that he/she needs to study further for exams?
Please bring up other doubts, if any and you can see for yourself that they would get resolved too.
The Nostalgia Crap
- Banning school bags will make children lazier and they will always seek a comfortable life.
- Without school bags, the school life of children remains incomplete.
- For school going kids, their bag is their treasure box where they keep all their important things.
- The school bag is also a measure of teaching children to be responsible for their belongings.
The above points and any other similar ideas are pure and unadulterated nonsense. Anybody raising them shows the uselessness of the Indian education system that they claim to have studied in.
It only means that the adults, who lifted school bags in their childhood, cannot imagine a school without school bags for today’s children. Their attitude is more like, I had to bear the burden, so should you. Can you really expect these childish adults to solve any damn issue, leave aside the weight of school bags?
Did anyone ever consider that Indian students will study from home for one full year and they will be fine? Well, everyone claims to have done exactly that and doing well. Desperate times of COVID-19, desperate measures of online learning, one would say.
Similarly, the weight of school bags is a desperate problem deserving of a creative measure. All the solutions devised till now have not worked. Why not re-phrase the question? Why not question the utility of carrying a school bag from home to school and back to home? It is absolutely not serving any purpose in today’s education system. It can very well be left at school and that should be fine.
To be honest, I don’t see any wrong in the idea of school without school bags. What about you?
PS: I am a stay-at-home father to six-year-old twin daughters, neither an educationist nor an expert. The above thoughts are an expression of parenting is having an opinion, getting involved and trying to better.