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Rajasthan Launches Pilot Project to Reduce Weight of Children's School Bags

State Education Minister Govind Singh Dotasra, who launched the project, also urged private schools to adopt the initiative .


Updated:September 4, 2019, 7:13 PM IST
Rajasthan Launches Pilot Project to Reduce Weight of Children's School Bags
Rajasthan Education Minister Govind Singh Dotasra at the launch of the pilot project in Jaipur on Wednesday.

New Delhi: In an effort to reduce the weight of school bags carried by children, the Rajasthan government on Wednesday launched a pilot project that will lessen the number of books brought to school every day.

“I am delighted to announce this initiative on the behalf of the Rajasthan government, which is the first state to launch such an initiative. At the same time, I appeal to the other states and private schools to adopt this initiative,” said Rajasthan Education Minister Govind Singh Dotasra who launched the project.

A state-sponsored analysis found that students generally carry to school all the books that form part of their syllabus. This is a key component that increases the weight of the bag. As students study a particular subject trimester- or quarter-wise, an initiative was taken to see if the books can be divided in a way that follows the suggested curriculum — instead of subject-wise, they were re-crafted according to the trimester or the quarter. For instance, a student of Class 5 will now carry a single book with four subjects, instead of four separate books.

Over the last few weeks, the Rajasthan Department of Education set up a team that worked on crafting books for Classes 1 to 5, while ensuring that the books become more joyful and are able to engage the students more effectively. The Congress government in the state claimed to have achieved immense success in reducing the weight of the books.

From carrying the weight of three books totaling 0.9 kg, a Class 1 student will now carry just one book weighing 0.4 kg. Similarly, the weight of a book in Class 2 has reduced from 0.95 kg to 0.3 kg; for Class 3 from 1.35 kg to 0.5 kg; for Class 4 from 1.45 kg to 0.5 kg; and for Class 5 from 1.25 kg to 0.50 kg.

The state government has effectively been able to reduce the weight of books by almost two-thirds and the weight of the bags by a third.

As part of the pilot initiative, these newly-crafted books will be used in one school for each of the 33 districts in the state. If successful, the changes will be made the norm for the next academic year.

At the event, Dotasra distributed new books to children of classes one to five and also urged private schools to adopt the initiative.

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