House divided on tiny tots’ burden

Updated on May 24, 2009 11:54 PM IST

Several schools in Delhi assign difficult project work (charts and models) to tiny tots, reports Ritika Chopra.

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Hindustan Times | ByRitika Chopra, New Delhi

Karan Tiwari has to make a scrapbook on the life and people of Europe as holiday work.

Karan is only four years old.

“My son hasn’t started writing yet. What makes them think he can make a scrapbook on Europe?” said Karan’s mother Krishna Tiwari (31), whose son is a nursery student at Amiown, Pushp Vihar, a branch of a chain of pre-schools run by the Amity Group.

Krishna is not the only parent who is foxed by the holiday homework note that her child brought home last week.

Several schools in Delhi assign difficult project work (charts and models) to tiny tots.

This summer vacation, Kavita Mohan’s daughter will have to make a family portrait and compose the portrait’s background by pasting together pieces of colour paper.

“I can’t let a four-year-old handle a scissor,” said Mohan (30), a parent and housewife. “The portrait along with some other model work will take me two weeks to finish.” Her four-year-old daughter studies in Apeejay School, Noida.

Schools see a point in this exercise.

“The idea is to have the parent sit with the child and help him/her learn. Please don’t underestimate a four-year-old,” said Ameeta Mohan, principal Amiown, Pushp Vihar. “They are very receptive, especially when learning is done through images. Most projects are picture based.”

The Central Board for Secondary Education advises schools to not give homework to students up to Class II.

A circular dated February 13, 2004 states: “It is again reiterated that the schools should desist from giving home work to students up to Class II so that the time is gainfully used by the students for effective interaction with the members of the family....”

Unlike CBSE, there is no formal communication from the Education Department to private schools on this issue.

“We haven’t issued a circular to private schools on this, but our stand is the same as CBSE’s,” said Chandra Bhushan Kumar, director, education.

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