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Campaign to lighten burden of students

Staff Reporter

KOZHIKODE: Kochi-based Mukesh Jain and his wife, Bhavana, have launched a campaign to lighten the burden of the bulging school bag.

They were in Kozhikode, along with their daughter, Avani, a Class VI student, recently on a mission to put forth their suggestions, which they said were based on the stipulations of the Indian Paediatric Association (IPA).

The IPA directive says school children should not carry more than 10 per cent of their body weight. The average weight of a class 1V student being 28 kg, he/she should carry only 1.9 kg. One of the major ideas mooted by the Jains was remodelling of the text and notebooks based on the requirements of each particular term.

"A 200-page book can be reduced to 80 pages. If the child has to carry only that portion of the textbook required for the particular term, the weight can be reduced considerably," Mr. Jain said. The Jains have put down their ideas with specific tables and diagrams based on scientific details.

"We are not asking the teachers to reduce any item needed in the class, but only to avoid those that are not needed for a particular term. We have approached the educational authorities, including the Deputy Director of Education, Education Secretary and the Education Minister. They were highly receptive to our suggestions."

The parent-couple are now awaiting a positive attitude from individual school authorities.

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