West Bengal government is taking steps to reduce the weight of school bags for students in primary schools, Education Minister Partha Chatterjee said.
Chatterjee said he has asked the Syllabus Committee to reduce the weight of school bags.
"I have asked the Syllabus committee to consider options to reduce the weight of textbooks," the minister said today.
Asked how this could be accomplished, Chatterjee said, "There are many ways."
"We have to ensure the total weight of pages in a single textbook does not exceed the carrying capacity of a child. We have to see if the number of pictures in a particular book is more than required.
"The Syllabus Committee will look into these things and take an appropriate decision without compromising on the quality of the textbooks," the minister said.
Syllabus Committee chairman Abhik Majumder said, "The minister has taken up the issue of reducing the weight of primary school textbooks with the committee. We are discussing the matter among ourselves and weighing options."
The move followed demands made by a primary school teachers' organisation at a recent meeting with the Education Minister that the weight of school bags of primary school students be reduced. The meeting had been convened to elicit the opinion of all stakeholders to bring back the 'Pass-Fail' system from primary stage.
The Primary School Teachers' organisation had pointed out at the meeting that a text book 'Amar Boi' compiled three subjects Bengali, English and Mathematics in a single volume, weighing around 1 kilogramme and asked the government to split it into three separate books - subject-wise.