TODAY -

No School bag day in Manipur

Sanjenbam Jugeshwor Singh *

 School bags left outside by Students appearing for Class X Exam (High School Leaving Certificate) :: 24 February 2018
School bags left outside by Students appearing for Class X Exam on 24 February 2018 :: Pix - Shankar Khangembam



It is great to learn that on 3rd September 2019 Government of Manipur Secretariat: Education(S) Department issued an office Memorandum No-29/22/2019-SE(S) Misc.; that every working Saturday should be "NO SCHOOL BAG DAY" for all students from class I to VIII in all schools of Manipur.

It's great initiative but there are still miles to go to completely remove the heavy burden carried by our children. Why? Doctors say, carrying heavy school bags cause neck and back pain, shoulder strain and fatigue amongst other. Because when they carry a heavy bag what they do is they tend to bend down too much and they look little short, otherwise it will have not much of effect.

When a backpack is too heavy, the body will have to compensate by tilting forward to counter the effect of gravity. This will alter the alignment of the child's posture and increase the strain on the spine. It is said that school children's backpack should not exceed more than 10% of their body weight.

Research has proven that carrying heavy school bags will have adverse impact on students' health as they enter into adulthood. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons recommends students to carry only 10% of their body weight. For instance, if a child weighs 20kg, then the child should carry only around 2kg of weight. Children use backpacks every day to get their books back and forth from the school.

Many students carry larger school bags with excessive weight. Some parents help carry the school bags, most carry on their own. Much has changed in the school for the better of our students. Ways of teaching and learning have changed. School environments have also transformed to absorb the changes in teaching and the learning.

Despite these changes, one thing has remained unchanged that is the excessive weights of school bags that our students lug to their schools. It is common sigh to see students carrying school bags that are unnecessarily heavy that often larger than their backs. Scientific studies offer a range of adverse implications on students, as they grow into adulthood from carrying heavy school bags.

It is time that parents andpolicy makers also understand both the short-and long term impacts as reported in these studies, because our students carry their bags from home to school and back, six days a week, nine months a year, for thirteen years of their developmental period.

Some of the commonly discussed effects are: fatigue; muscle strain, back pain, distortion of spine's natural curves, rounding of the shoulders, poor body posture and short attention spans. Heavy school bags are also known causes of cervical and lumber pains.

Convincing claims also points out that reduction and shortening of the lumber spines in proportion to the weight of the school bag will result in overloading and degenerative changes in spine. Such changes are known causes of back pain in later year.It has also been reported that growth points in the bones from which bones grow will be damaged by carrying excessively heavy school bags resulting in abnormal or stunted growth.

The above impacts are alarming in various ways. Firstly, the impact will have a huge burden on our health system and some studies terms these impacts as healthcare time bombs. Secondly, the toll of excessive weight of school bags on our school children will result in underdeveloped human capital, because some studies have made persuasive claims of casualty between healthy bodies and high student achievement.

While our country is unusually quiet on the silent struggle of our students to carry heavy school bags,other countries have not only recognized the socio-economic problems associated with their students carrying heavy school bags but also implemented diverse solution to the problem.

In Australia some state governments provide their public with advisory information about the risks of heavy school bags, ways of reducing the risks, alternative to carrying school bags and ways of reducing the number of books, students carry.

In India, some courts have issued orders to state governments to formulate policies for adverting students from carrying heavy school bags. In USA, health specialists have recommended the critical ratio of the weight of school bag to the students' body weight.

In the United Kingdom, health specialists have called for a review of the weights students carry. In some countries the media awakened the public on the issue. All these concerns show that the impact of carrying heavy school bags by our students need quick intervention as the concerns are no less relevant to our country and the state of Manipur.

When the body weights and weights of school bags of one hundred students from middle secondary school in the country were randomly measured, the average weight of the school bags that the students carry to their school was 17% of their average body weights of 40.20%. This falls outside of the recommended range of 10-15% of the body weight.

As the number of participants is small, this finding may be only the tip of iceberg of diverse ill effects of heavy school bags that our students experience on a daily basis as they traverse between their school and dwellings over e few thousand meters of rough uneven foot paths. The risk is too obvious to pretend not to know. It is a fact that students cannot go to the school without books. Therefore health experts do not say that the students should not carry school bags.

The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons recommends that it is alright for students to carry less than 10-15% of their body weight as mentioned in the beginning of this write up. This implies that our children can still carry some books in their school bags, which will allow them to complete their home tasks and other extended learning activities within their permissible limit of the weight of the school bag. Many countries have implemented many measures.

Some countries provide students with locker facilities in their class rooms for keeping their books. Some countries requires school to formulate students home work time tables so that students get home work in no more than two subjects in a day. According to experts, children needs proper rest and sufficient sleep for their all-round physical & mental development.

It is fact that, in almost all the schools in Manipur, heavy home works are being given to these young & tender children. On the contrary, in Manipur, home work are being done either by parents or tuition teachers. Parents are happy when class teachers gave good marks for the home work done either by parents or tuition teacher.

But is that mark, the mark obtained by real works of the children? Nobody cares.

Some countries mandate schools to develop class time tables to use only some subjects on a day, not all the subjects. Some countries provide specifications for the size of note books. These remedial measures have no less potential in our country as well to address the ill effects of carrying excessively heavy school bag by our students.

Our children, born in the Gross National Happiness(GNH) country, should not learn happily in the GNH-oriented schools but also develop into adulthood with healthy bodies , free of the ill effects of heavy school bags as they graduate from their schools.


* Sanjenbam Jugeshwor Singh wrote this article for Imphal Times
The writer is a Faculty at NIELIT Imphal and can be reached at sjugeshwor7(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on October 07 2019.



* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.


LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Dzukou Valley Landscape #6 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 15 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Is sports dwindling in Manipur's education
  • Startup Acceleration Program for NE
  • Applications for Agri Innovators & Startups
  • Focus on pre-production - Manipuri cinema
  • Harassment of Laishram Herojit
  • Coconut oil for summer beauty
  • Consultative Meeting on RIIN
  • Crossing the two lakh barrier
  • Marathon @ Yaoshang Sports : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 14 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • COVID-19 : Impact in Manipur :: News Timeline
  • Conference on Algebra & Applications
  • 14th April, 1944: Its significance ..
  • Investigation regarding Lamhainamdi incident
  • Demise of passionate filmmaker, EM Kay Jeet
  • World Art Day at Manipur University
  • Human rights organization NCHRO
  • Mount Koubru caught in a storm
  • Friend or foe
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba Chak Katpa : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 13 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Athoubasinggi Numit tributes #1 : Gallery
  • Application : Medical Financial Assistance
  • The Power of Prayer
  • Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives
  • What issues will decide 2022 Assembly poll
  • Sajibu Nongma Panba Shopping : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 12 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Importance of film preservation: Cine Dialogue
  • Decline in number of Cinema Halls
  • Moment With My Pen :: Poem
  • Michelangelo in my drawing room
  • Get vaccinated call
  • Nongpok Ningthou Phoudamba #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 11 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba (Meitei New Year Day) :: Book
  • Golden Jubilee of Manipuri Cinema : Report
  • Think it differently
  • 2nd wave poses an increasing danger
  • Interesting twist to pending ADC elections
  • Yaoshang Sports @Laipubam : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 10 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Of Nambul River & Prof Rajendra Ksh #2
  • Lok Adalat at various places in Manipur
  • Covid-19 Survey : for science community
  • A Slave or A Master ! :: Poem
  • Spiritual flight journey
  • Workshop on NEP at Lilong
  • Old Manipuri Movie #2 : eRang Classic
  • COVID-19 Status 09 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Yurreipem, Zingyo, Changton: eMing
  • can the dignity of menstruation be increased
  • Incentivize vaccination for success
  • Need for Flexible Education in Manipur
  • MoU with Film Heritage Foundation
  • Unwanted deafening silence
  • Hun : Thadou biggest cultural festival
  • COVID-19 Status 08 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Licypriya addressed UN Youth Forum 2021
  • Status of women in the 21st century
  • ..we will fail to achieve Health For All
  • Monolith at Manipuri cinema Golden Jubilee
  • Complaint filed to MHRC on Sanaton death
  • Indifference to the fast spread of virus
  • Abridged Translation of Sanamahi Laihui #2
  • COVID-19 Status 07 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Ningtham Kummei @JNMDA #2 : Gallery
  • Career in Poultry Science
  • Form independent investigation commission
  • Need of actions to control air pollution
  • Politics surrounding call for ADC polls
  • Nongpok Ningthou Phoudamba #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 06 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Journalists' Sports Meet #2 : Gallery
  • COVID test a must for all incoming flight
  • World Autism Awareness Day 2021
  • Architects @ Makok Technologies, Keinou
  • Bridge :: Poem
  • Second wave spreading swiftly
  • Yaoshang: Cooking Competition : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 05 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • World Veterinary Day, 2021
  • What is it in the name? Famous 'Michaels'
  • The Last Night :: Poem
  • Rehabilitating drug users
  • When Money matters, sincerity is out
  • Cultural Fest of Manipur #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 04 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Mai-Own : Produces from Manipur #3: Gallery
  • 'Manipur Model' of Homestays gets booster
  • Manipur Lokayukta: Today's Imperative
  • Second wave could delay economic recovery
  • Give teeth to war on drugs
  • Thabal Chongba @Bamon Leikai #2: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 03 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • The Joy of Easter Sunday
  • What's happening in Myanmar
  • Easter : A strange & unique celebration
  • For One To Faithful :: Poem
  • Executive member : Physics Academy NE
  • Abridged Translation of Sanamahi Laihui #1
  • COVID-19 Status 02 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Relief @ Rajaimei, Senapati : Gallery
  • The Ultimate Sacrifice
  • ST demand may become redundant
  • Addiction to drugs & alcohol
  • NHPC visit 510 MW Teesta-V
  • Creating space for super spreader
  • Day 3: Yaoshang Sports Meet : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 01 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Journalists' Sports Meet #1 : Gallery
  • World Autism Awareness Day 2021
  • Cut Money: The Virus of Illfare in Welfare
  • Vigyan Vidushi : Physics for women students
  • Mulling over the absolute
  • Arrest of former Salai Chairman
  • Yaoshang Nakatheng Chatpa : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 31 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Manipur Champion in Natl Thang-Ta C'ship
  • Yaoshang Pichakari : Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn the Manipuri script
  • We are all Human ! :: Poem
  • Adequate nutrition for productive society
  • ADC elections assured, but when? ATSUM
  • Thabal Chongba @Bamon Leikai #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 30 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • April Calendar for Year 2021 : Tools
  • Marathon Race- Kanglei Sports: Gallery
  • Paradise found. Paradise made.
  • AR organises anti drug awareness campaign
  • Fire @ Shirui, Ukhrul [Mar 29] : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 29 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Yaoshang MeiThaba @Kwakeithel: Gallery
  • Relief at Rajaimei & Tumuyon Khullen
  • Mask up to beat the second Covid wave
  • Yaoshang MeiThaba @Bamon Leikai: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 28 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Promotion of science @Senapati : Gallery
  • In need of a savior: the wailing of Myanmar
  • Science Awareness Programme at Senapati
  • World Sleep Day 2021 #2
  • AR interacts with ex-servicemen
  • Journalists' Sports Meet- Opening : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 27 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Film Preservation & Archiving Workshop
  • Fullmoon :: Poem
  • Appeal for assistance to Myanmar victims
  • Holi colour can cause dangerous side-effect
  • Training Program on Mushroom Cultivation
  • On Equality
  • Saroi Khangba @Imphal #2: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 26 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Mai-Own : Produces from Manipur #2: Gallery
  • War on drugs & sports movement
  • Yaoshang (Holi) Festival :: Book
  • Will advances in TB outweigh Covid-19 ?
  • Expecting Rs 14567 crore from the Centre
  • Still making waves in the the year 2021
  • War on Drugs: The uncheck loopholes
  • Junior Men & Women Hockey : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 25 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Account Assistant @ Amber & Arthur, Imphal
  • Principle of Self Determination & Peace
  • A Poem's Story
  • NDPP delegation visited Assam
  • Climbing cases in the last few days
  • Human Rights issues & Tangkhul Women #4
  • COVID-19 Status 24 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • World Water Day Water
  • The Night :: Poem
  • Demand to book Lamhainamdi incident
  • Five Films for Freedom, LGBTIQ+ campaign
  • Touch stance with look at past 'mistakes'
  • For a little bit more
  • Mai-Own : Produces from Manipur #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 23 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Lamjing Meira Episode 1 - AMAND Ladies
  • World Sleep Day 2021 #1
  • Science Awareness Program at Wabagai
  • Towards Special Agricultural Zone in Manipur
  • Office Bearers- Manipur Soccer Futsal Assn
  • Of forest and water in the world
  • Chingu Paokhollei Leirang - Ingellei
  • COVID-19 Status 22 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Manipur: Team champion, Natl Bodybuilding
  • One Midsummer Dream :: Poem
  • Public auction theory & policy
  • BJP likely to retain Assam
  • Imagination: Not a child's play
  • Climbing cases across the country
  • TAPASYA Foundation day #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 21 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Of Nambul River & Prof Rajendra Ksh #1
  • Khengjang-Yangoulen Fish Conservation
  • Workshop on NEP 2020 at Manipur Univ
  • Cyclist Philem Rohan reached Bengaluru
  • Delhi Citizens extend solidarity with Myanmar
  • Create ADCs first ultimatum
  • Saroi Khangba @Imphal #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 20 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Measures to contain COVID-19 in Yaoshang
  • Science Education @ Chandel : Gallery
  • Consultants @ The Property Geo, Imphal
  • The Myanmar crisis & our options
  • Whither Homeland... :: Poem
  • Course in Kinanthropometry
  • Awareness of science education in SC school
  • Understanding value of 'Time' & 'Money'
  • Human Rights issues & Tangkhul Women #3
  • Book- 'Critics forum Manipur' : Gallery
  • Realization in the dark :: Poem
  • 39th Orientation Program at MU
  • Gauri Healthy Heart Mission at Kakching
  • State of democracy in Thailand : Discussion
  • Disturbing reports of deaths
  • Stop sand mining from River bank
  • Sharungbam Rameshor: Yuva Puraskar
  • COVID-19 Status 18 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Brewing Bio Entrepreneurships in Manipur
  • Mayasvi festival of the Tsou of Taiwan
  • Accountants at R-Square Design
  • Myanmar Memories
  • Staring at second wave of the virus
  • Inauguration and Launching Galore
  • Shopping List for Shivaratri #2: Gallery
  • Causes & solutions of unemployment
  • Where Fate Leads :: Poem
  • 'Dry fish' from Chittagong
  • Education for CWSN
  • ST demand: Gearing up for stir
  • Gadgets matters
  • Houses @Yangkhullen, Senapati : Gallery
  • World War II, INA & Manipuri Literature #3
  • Is there a perfect referee in football ?
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • The way to equal future
  • The magic of Coriander in skincare
  • From a high of 426 to zero
  • So far so good
  • My memories of Imphal from 1941 #20
  • Mushroom training @MayangImphal: Gallery
  • Rih-Ngai Fest @Kakhulong : Gallery
  • Imphal City from Nongmai Ching #2: Gallery
  • Aries Haoneo Kuki : Singer Profile :: eRang
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2021 #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 vaccination [Jan 16] #2 : Gallery
  • Downloadable Manipuri Calendar :: 2021
  • 'Zehara' - Manipuri Movie :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS