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Manipur Students Enjoy 'No School Bag Day' on Saturday, Parents Welcome Govt Initiative

Parents were happy to see their kids return home feeling refreshed - text books, notebooks and pencil boxes that add up to heavy school bags are no longer must-carry items on Saturdays.

Karishma Hasnat | CNN-News18

Updated:September 10, 2019, 11:16 PM IST
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Manipur Students Enjoy 'No School Bag Day' on Saturday, Parents Welcome Govt Initiative
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Guwahati: Students in Manipur will not have to worry about homework or grades for a day as the state government recently introduced ‘No School Bag Day’ on all working Saturdays for government and private schools. According to a circular by the Education department, the students of government, government-aided and unaided private schools from Classes I to VIII shall not carry school bags on all working Saturdays.

School authorities have been directed to ensure lessons on life skills and encourage extra co-curricular activities, games and sports among others “to make schools a more joyful place of learning”.

“As per our direction to both government and private schools, “No School Bag Day” has been implemented from September 7, 2019, and it’s a positive move – parents, teachers and students are welcoming it. It is our endeavor to make the students more creative and lower their academic burden,” said Manipur Education Minister Thokchom Radheshyam Singh.

Parents were happy to see their kids return home feeling refreshed - text books, notebooks and pencil boxes that add up to heavy school bags are no longer must-carry items on Saturdays.

“As a parent, I could always feel the burden my nine year old son carried to school every day – the more than 3 kilos heavy school bag wearing him down. I am pained to see him carrying that load. With the state government taking such an innovative step, I am really happy that once a week, my child will be able to go to school feeling free,” said Noren Ningombam whose son is a Class 3 student at a private school in Imphal.

“For little kids, it has been a bigger problem as carrying heavy school bags hurt their spine,” he added.

The Headmistress of Langthabal Kunja Junior High School, Babylee Ksh, said the students were overjoyed to have a fun-filled Saturday. “It was a special day for the children as they were coming to school for the first time without backpacks. They enjoyed the day at school, telling motivational stories about freedom fighters and playing games. Other nearby schools had similar sessions,” she said.

In November last year, the HRD ministry had announced new rules limiting the weight of school bags, depending on the age of the child. While the maximum weight of school bags for students of Classes 1 and 2 can be 1.5 kg, for Classes 3 to 5, it should not exceed 2-3 kg. For Classes 6 and 7, it should stay within 4 kg, for Classes 8 and 9 it should be lighter than 4.5 kg, and should not exceed 5 kg for Class 10.

The Department of Education (Schools) in Manipur said that the step was necessitated considering the “long term physical and mental effects of carrying heavy school bags by young students”.

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| Edited by: Karan Anand
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