Now Reading: KP Becomes First Province to Limit Burden of Students’ School Bags
It is no secret that small children in our country are commonly seen carrying big and heavy school bags, some of which are often twice their own size. The sad part is that up till now, no one had batted an eye to this very crucial issue, despite the fact that it could inflict permanent neck, back and shoulder pain on these children – just because this practice has become the norm.
Thankfully, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government looks to stop the normalization of this practice as it has approved the “KP School Bags (Limitation Weight) Act” on Wednesday in order to regulate the weight of school bags. Originally drafted in last year, this law looks to reduce the burden that is forced to be carried by the children and also ensures to take action against any school that opposes the weight limits as enforced by this legislation.
In a statement, KP’s Provincial Minister for Education – Shahram Khan Tarakai – revealed that in a meeting, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa cabinet has unanimously passed the KP School Bags Act. Talking about this approved legislation, the Minister stated in a twitter post that this Act makes KP the first province to have approved such a law and declared it a relief for parents and children alike. The Minister said:
“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. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is the first province to introduce such legislation. A long due relief for children & 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. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is the first province to introduce such legislation. A long due relief for children & parents. pic.twitter.com/0EhcTTGJbu
— Shahram Khan Tarakai (@ShahramKTarakai) October 7, 2020
Details of the KP school Bags (Limitation Weight) Act
As per the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa School Bags Limitation of Weight Act 2020, enforcement of this legislation will be ensured. For schools, it will be made necessary to ensure the availability of lockers and cupboards where students are able to store excess books and other additional belongings. Moreover, to prevent the violation of this law, an independent monitoring cell will be set up by the provincial government.
In case of non-compliance, the schools will be fined a hefty amount of 2 lac rupees each. Here’s what is stated in Section 4(1) and Section 7 of the KP School Bags Act:
“Schools are bound to provide lockers and cupboards for students up to 12th grade. This will help give space to students inside centers of learning where they can keep their books and other extra-curricular belongings. In the case of violation, principals and other faculty of the schools will be taken to task. If schools disarm the law, they will be fined Rs. 200,000 each.”
If we look at the weight restrictions, school bags of children in nursery class must not have a weight of more than 1.5kg. Similarly, bags carried by class one students should not weigh more than 2.4kg. As for children from class two to five, they should not be carrying more than 5.3 kg in their bags while students from class six to class ten will be allowed to carry between 5.4 kg to 6 kg in their bags. The legislation also states the weight limit of the bags of Intermediate Students to be 7 kg as shown below:
This law will apply on all government, private and other educational institutions in the province.