The Manipur government has declared all working Saturdays as “No School Bag Day” for students from class I to VIII. On this day, students will not carry school bags and institutions will ensure taking up extra co-curricular activities, games and sports, recreational activities among others and make schools a more joyful place of learning.
An office memorandum to this effect was issued by the Education department enforcing “No School Bag Day” in all categories of schools including the government and private schools.
“It has come to the knowledge of the government that the students in these categories of classes are found to be always engaged with routine works related to school curriculum, additional homework assignments thereby finding hard to find any quality time for life skill activities including games and sports, extra co-curricular activities etc which can help in their holistic personality development and growth”, the memorandum said.
The Education Department said it will review the practice having considered the long term physical and mental effects of carrying heavy school bags every day by young students causes inconveniences, health problems and discomfort to them.
The department notified that focus will be given more on the areas for providing a holistic development of the students by reducing excessive stress and by making school a more conducive and joyful place.
Welcoming the decision, Leimapokpam Babyrani, a resident of Thangmeiband said, “It is a great relief not only for my child but for me too. It has become almost unbearable to watch my daughter carry that heavy school bag every day and the physical hardship she has to go through after carrying the bag.”
Babyrani’s daughter is studying in class V at RK Sanatombi Vidyalaya in Imphal.
She wished that the government also comes up with a mechanism to ease the burden of carrying heavy bags further besides Saturday.