The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government once again took lead after introducing a new legislation for reducing the weight of schoolbags under “School bags limitation of weight act 2020” which will help the school students to get rid of the physical and mental diseases being caused by the heavy school bags.
Taking to Twitter, the Provincial Minister for Education Shahram Khan Tarakai said KP has become the first province to introduce such legislation. He said that the act would give a long due relief for children and parents.
“I am glad to announce that the provincial cabinet has approved the KP school Bags (Limitation Weight) Act today which will to regulate the weight of School Bags. KP is the first province to introduce such legislation. A long due relief for children & parents,” he wrote on his twitter.
According to the official documents the overall weight of class-1 bags has been fixed up to 2.4 kg, the bags weights for class two to five should not be exceeded 2.5 to 5.3 kg. Similarly, the rule in the act proposed bags for 6 to 10 classes from 5.4 to 6.5 kg, the weight proposed for the bag for classes 11 to 12 stand approximately 7 kg.
Meanwhile, people from all walks of life lauded the KP government for such legislation and termed it as a historical move which will protect the children from the diseases caused by the heavy bags.
While talking to the Voice of KP, Sadeem Bano a school teacher in Peshawar city said that the KP government has brought many reforms in the education sector and the recent move of reducing the weight of the school bags is an example.
She said that in her career of 17 years she had seen many children being affected by heavy school bags adding that Pakistan needs such reforms in education sector to boost quality of education.
In reference to the act on reducing the weight of school bags in primary and secondary schools, it is again reiterated that the guidelines about reducing the weight of school bags shall be followed by all heads of government, government-aided and other recognised schools under the act which will be enacted in the province.
According to doctors, heavy schoolbags lead to strain, fatigue and physical discomfort among children thus affecting their attentiveness and ability to learn.
Talking to Voice of KP Dr Shawana Akhtar said that the KP government must be praised for such important move as heavy schoolbags has always been an issue for the students.
She elaborated that the heavy schoolbag has a severe, adverse physical effect on the growing children which can cause damage to their vertebral column and knees. She concluded that the law has been passed and now it was the duty of the schools management and parents to ensure its implementation.
It must be noted that the law recommends action against government schools if they fail to enforce the law while private schools will be fined up to Rs200,000 if they do not enforce the laws. The law passed by the KP Assembly is the first of its kind in Pakistan.
According to Section 4(1) of the School Bags Act, schools will be required to ensure the availability of lockers and cupboards where students can store books and additional belongings.
While the act has recommended making textbooks and notebooks of lighter materials in the future, it has also called on the educational institutions to frequently organise awareness campaigns regarding the consequences of excessively heavy school bags.
The approved law is meant for all educational institutions including government, private, seminary, autonomous, semi-autonomous, and other functioning in the province.