NEARLY five days after the Bombay High Court rapped the state education department demanding a report on the status of the implementation of its earlier order to fix maximum weight of school bags, the education department officials seem to have woken up, finally.
On Tuesday, a letter was issued by the Primary Education Directorate addressed to all divisional deputy directors of education, primary and secondary education officers and chairmen of education boards of civic bodies stating that despite instructions, no reports of inspections or compliance of the order had been sent to the directorate.
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“Earlier as well, we had issued a letter for which nearly a month has passed. It was expected that every month, the education officers would carry out inspections and send us a report. But it is seen that none of the officers have sent us any report and it appears that implementation is not happening as desired. Hence, we have reissued the letter and asked for an immediate action taken report,” said Mahesh Palkar, deputy director of education, primary, adding that the reports would be collected so that they could be submitted to the court.
In an attachment to the letter, a revised format for reporting had also been attached. The report enlists details like name of the school, centre, name and designation of the officers visiting the school, date of visit, class (or standard) of students, expected weight of bag as per the government GR, the number of students whose school bags weight was checked (minimum five), number of students whose school bags weighed as per the government notification and the number of students whose school bags weighed more than that prescribed in the government notification. It also stated that a check should be kept on unnecessary objects seen in school bags carried by students, inspect if teachers or principals had checked the weight of school bags and informed parents about the maximum weight allowed and instructions given to keep weight of school bags minimum.
Meanwhile, Ramchandra Jadhav, Deputy Director of Education, said he had also issued a letter asking education officers and block divisional officers to send monthly reports.
“It was expected that school principals and parents would take the initiative to implement the GR and our officers would conduct school-wise checks to see if it was being done. In fact, we had asked them to weigh the bags and check if claims were true. However, in the absence of such checks, even school principals will not necessarily implement the rules. Hence, I have called for a meeting of all the education officers to personally ask them about the status,” said Jadhav.