Printing of easy-to-carry textbooks on

When the new academic year begins in June, thousands of school children will carry bags weighing much less than they did last year.

The School Education Department is now keen on reducing the burden of schoolbags on children, as part of its initiative to implement ‘Samacheer Kalvi' under the Tamil Nadu Uniform System of School Education Act for classes I and VI this year.

According to School Education Minister Thangam Thennarasu, printing of textbooks, designed according to the new syllabus, is going on at full swing and would reach students during the first week of June. “A lot of attention has been given to the quality of paper used and weight of textbooks. The textbooks will be of A4 size and have been made using 80 gsm paper. The book will not only be of good quality, but also be light to carry,” he said.

Instead of printing separate workbooks and making students carry them to school every day, the department is considering providing work sheets.

While textbooks would be provided to government and aided schools free of cost, Matriculation schools would have to purchase them for a price. According to sources, the textbooks have been priced lower than before.

Welcome move

“Children of the primary sections following the Activity-Based Learning methodology have to carry hardly anything because the methodology largely involves use of activity cards,” Mr. Thennarasu said.

Teachers have welcomed the decision to reduce the load of schoolbags. According to M. Moorthy, president and state treasurer, Tamil Nadu Elementary Schools Teachers Federation, it is important that students be allowed to carry bags that are not too heavy. “It is certainly a welcome decision,” he said.

N. Vijayan, General Secretary, Federation of Matriculation Schools' Associations in Tamil Nadu, said that last year, in an attempt to reduce the load of schoolbags on their students, Matriculation schools decided to rework the time-table to enable students to carry select textbooks on a given day.

“A heavy schoolbag may impact a child's health and growth. Besides the government's efforts, schools must, on their part, cooperate and ensure this is made possible,” he added.

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Meera SrinivasanJune 28, 2012