Bag limit is a weight off pupils’ shoulders
Posted on November 28th, 2018

Courtesy The Times UK

India has set strict weight limits for children’s school bags as part of an initiative to prevent injury and reduce the stress created by the immense pressure to achieve good grades.

The rules, which will be applied nationwide after successful trials in several Indian states, will impose a 1.5kg satchel weight limit on Year 1 and 2 pupils, aged about five or six years old, rising to 5kg for teenagers. Homework has also been stopped for the youngest pupils to spare them from hauling extra books to and from school.

India has the highest youth suicide rate in the world and the new scheme is intended to address years of mounting alarm at the physical and mental toll placed on students by family and social demands for academic success. Schools have found that children are carrying bags weighing a third of their body weight or more, risking long-term injury.

The excess weight puts undue stress on the muscles, ligaments and discs and damages them,” Ramneek Mahajan, director of orthopaedic medicine at the Max Smart Super Speciality Hospital in Delhi, told The Times of India. Children develop a forward head posture as they are swinging forward at the hip to compensate for the heavy weight.”

The government is also seeking to streamline the curriculum to create more time in the week for children to enjoy sport and other interests.

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