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Maharashtra school bag weight: Only 12 district education officers sent inspection reports in October

Despite conducting surprise inspections twice in the city, officials haven’t bothered sending reports of the inspections to the state education department.

Written by Alifiya Khan | Pune | Updated: December 18, 2015 11:19:09 am
Deputy director of education, Ramchandra Jadhav looks while weighing the school bag of a fifth standard student at Symbiosis School at Prabhat Road. It's part of the surprise inspection of school bags done on Tuesday at over 100 schools in the city by education officers to check if weight of school bags is being implemented as per government norms. Express Photo by Arul Horizon. 06.10.2015. Pune. Deputy director of education, Ramchandra Jadhav looks while weighing the school bag of a fifth standard student at a school. Surprise inspection of school bags was done in over 100 schools in the city by education officers to check if weight of school bags is being implemented as per government norms. (Source: Express file photo by Arul Horizon)

The latest deadline by which school principals had to comply with government orders to reduce the weight of school bags or face disciplinary action elapsed on November 30. So far, repeated reminders to officers to conduct surprise inspections and ensure the government orders are being implemented correctly seem to be falling on dead ears.

According to data received from sources in the primary education department, out of 36 districts only 12 district level education officers had sent details of their inspection reports in October, which incidentally was the last report received by the department. For September, only eight district reports had been received. Mahesh Palkar, deputy director of education (primary) said that repeated circulars and reminders have been sent to the officers. “Our job is to compile the reports received and also to send reminders if we haven’t received them. We have been following up regularly,” he said.

Of the districts that have been regularly sending their data are Ahmednagar, Osmanabad, Sangli and even the far-flung Yevatmal and Gadchiroli districts. However, despite conducting surprise inspections twice in the city, officials haven’t bothered sending reports of the inspections to the state education department. “We read some media reports about these inspections but officially no data was reported to our department, so it’s not in the list,” added Palkar.

Meanwhile, state education commissioner Purshottam Bhapkar agreed that some stern steps need to be taken to bring seriousness into the issue. “I am going to issue a circular to all officers and ask them to report the data within a deadline. If not, we will have to take some stern steps as it is an important subject for which implementation of government orders is needed,” he said.

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