The Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) in a circular on Monday asked all states and Union Territories to formulate guidelines to regulate the teaching of subjects and the weight of school bags. This move comes as a bid to guard the health and physical development of children.
The government, earlier this year, had said that it was in favour of reducing the weight of school bags and had initiated a pilot project in 25 Kendra Vidyalaya schools to provide access to textbooks through digital tablets. In April 2016, CBSE too had issued a notice to all its affiliated schools to employ methods to reduce the weight of school bags for students.
The HRD Ministry, in its circular on Monday, has asked all schools that fall under the department of education to comply with the government orders with immediate effect. Here are five things to know about the new government guidelines:
1. Schools cannot prescribe any other subject except language and mathematics for Classes I and II students and language, mathematics, and EVS for Classes III to V students.
2. The MHRD has instructed that schools assign no homework to students of Classes I and II.
3. The weight of school bags for students of Class I and II shouldnâ€™t exceed 1.5 kg. The maximum weight of school bags for Classes III to V students is 2-3 kg, for classes VI to VII students is 4 kg, for classes VIII to IX students is 4.5 kg, and for class X students is 5 kg.
4. Students should not be asked to bring additional books and other materials apart from the prescribed textbooks. Schools should make sure that students carry only such textbooks as necessary as per the time-table.
5. While the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has recommended only two books (language and mathematics) for Classes I and II and three books for classes III to V, it has also made available all their textbooks for free access through the web and mobile devices.