Hi Friends,

Even as I launch this today ( my 80th Birthday ), I realize that there is yet so much to say and do.

There is just no time to look back, no time to wonder,"Will anyone read these pages?"

With regards,
Hemen Parekh
27 June 2013

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Burden of School Bags

A recent survey of 4569 students in Mumbai found :

*  31 % of those surveyed, carried schoolbags weighing more than the prescribed limit ( not more than 10% of child's own weight )

This issue has so much agitated everyone that even the Mumbai High Court keeps asking the Government :

"  What are you doing about this ? How and when , do you expect to solve this problem ? "

A news report in Times of India ( 02 April , 2016 ) quotes Shri B B Chavan , Deputy Director of Education , as follows :

"  Schools can't do much if parents continue to send fancy bags, heavy tiffin boxes and water bottles and tuition books "

Sure , parents can help reduce their child's burden

But , so can progressive / forward thinking / innovative schools  !

Immediate answer that comes to mind is : Use of Internet

I believe , HRD Ministry has launched a project under which , all text books will get uploaded on its web site , which any student can access freely , at any time , on his / her tablet

Simultaneously , in the last 2 / 3 years , dozens of portals have come up , which provide educational content of all kinds ( text books / quizzes / test papers / assessments etc ) , online , for a reasonable annual subscription

But the problem is :

*    Very few schools have a Wi-Fi hot spot

I suppose , it will take a few years before all schools get internet connection

Interim solution :

*   Schools to make available to students ( of each standard ) , tablets
     having on-board storage memory of 64 GB ( no need for internet ! )

*   Each tablet to be pre-loaded with scanned copies of text books

*   Icons on home page to show the " Subject Name " of text book

*   Tablets to be distributed at the beginning of each academic session

*   Students to be allowed to carry the tablets home and use for homework

*   Students to return the tablets at the end of each session

*   Tablets can be given to the next batch of students for reuse

*   Students should have option to " pay and buy " the tablet , in which case
     School Administration will load it with required text books, free of charge

     Alternatively, students can buy their choice of tablet from market

*   It will be the responsibility of school management to ensure that the
     all tablets are always pre-loaded with  the " Prescribed " text books

When schools are charging annual school-fees of Rs 30,000 / - to Rs 100,000 /- , surely they can afford to invest in tablets costing Rs 10,000/- !

Of course , poor children , attending Municipal Schools will benefit most since they cannot afford to buy own tablets or pay high fees

And since there is no internet access from these tablets , school managements do not have to worry about students accessing " In-appropriate Content " and waste their time on Facebook / Youtube etc !

I am sure, some schools here and many schools abroad , have already implemented this idea , which must have occurred to millions, earlier !


www.hemenparekh.in / blogs

04  April  2016