KP govt forms strategy to resolve issue of schoolchildren’s heavy bags

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has prepared a strategy for resolving the much-debated issue of heavy schoolbags of students.
In this regard, the KP Elementary and Secondary Education Department (ESED) has drafted Schoolbags Act 2019. Under the new act, the weight of the schoolbag will not be more than 15 percent of his body weight. Official sources said the bill will be presented in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly soon for approval.
Adviser to KP Chief Minister on Elementary and Secondary Education Ziaullah Bangash has said excessive weight of schoolbags is not good for children’s health. He said the step for new legislation has been taken over increasing complaints of parents.
The new act, if passed, will be applicable on all the government and private schools and religious seminaries. The adviser said steps will be taken for reducing the weight of schoolbags from play group to intermediate level under the new act. The Independent Monitoring Unit (IMU) and Directorate of Elementary and Secondary Education will ensure implementation of the act in government educational institutions, while Private Schools Regulatory Authority (PSRA) will be responsible for its implementation in private schools.
The CM’s adviser said the principal of the school not complying with the new orders will face fine of Rs200,000. He said the school administration will be responsible for providing lockers or cupboards for books and notebooks of the students.
Ziaullah Bangash said Rs.36 billion fund has been allocated for schools and educational activities in tribal districts under the light of the IMU report. Steps are also being taken to open the closed schools and reduce absenteeism by teachers.
Mr Bangash funds have been provided for providing missing facilities in schools like boundary walls, electricity, toilets or water etc.
The CM’s adviser said that under the directions of Prime Minister Imran Khan and KP Chief Minister Mehmood Khan, the ESED devised comprehensive planning for promotion of education in tribal districts.
“Under the planning, we allocated Rs22 billon for development and reconstruction of schools in merged districts. We will appoint 5,000 new teachers in tribal districts and missing facilities will be provided in schools,” he said.

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