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Set school timings in keeping with the climate: Govt panel

According to the officials, this recommendation was approved at a recent meeting that was chaired by Khushwaha and attended by education ministers of Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Tripura besides other nominated members of CABE.

education Updated: Dec 04, 2017 20:34 IST
Neelam Pandey
School children travel to school in a cycle rickshaw on a cold winter morning in old Delhi, India on January 16, 2017.
School children travel to school in a cycle rickshaw on a cold winter morning in old Delhi, India on January 16, 2017. (HT File Photo)

A sub-committee set up by the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) has pitched for aligning school calendar and timings to the climatic and cultural requirements of the children.

CABE is the government’s highest advisory body for policymaking in the field of education.

The sub-committee was formed to find ways to re-engage children who have dropped out of schools. Officials said the scope also involved looking at improving the quality of education so that kids do not drop out.

“School calendar and timings should be aligned to the climatic and cultural requirements of the children. To accommodate their diverse needs, it is important to have flexibility in school calendar and school timings. Delegate the necessary powers,” the subcommittee headed by minister of state for human resource development Upendra Kushwaha has recommended .

According to the officials, this recommendation was approved at a recent meeting that was chaired by Khushwaha and attended by education ministers of Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Tripura besides other nominated members of CABE. Sources said the recommendation would now be sent to CABE and education ministers across the country will deliberate on it at the next CABE meeting.

“The committee learnt from the states that in hilly areas, reaching schools very early (in the morning) is a difficult task. Similarly, many areas remain under snow and this should be taken into account. Even in urban areas we see students out of their homes as early as 6am. Many are not able to concentrate in the classes. It would be better if schools timings can be pushed ahead a little bit,” said a source.

While private ones are more flexible, government-run schools like Kendriya Vidyalayas, with over 11 lakh students, are not so. “Our schools generally start around 7.30am. But we allow schools the flexibility of starting it 30 minutes earlier or later. Until 2000, our schools followed the 9am to 3pm timing. But as several of them run in two shifts, we had to push it earlier,” said a senior KV official.

The sub-committee has also suggested that schools should have vocational education in their curriculum, and has recommended pre-primary education at all government-run schools to prepare the children for further education.

The CABE meetings in the past have undertaken several important issues related to school education. For instance, it is at one of these meetings that the HRD ministry had asked all the states to decide on the contentious no-detention policy.

Earlier, the Central Board of Secondary Education had suggested advancing the board exams from 2018 but several schools, especially in hill states, opposed it, citing climate woes.