No homework for classes 1 and 2, states told to cut down school bag weight
In Telangana, for students in classes 1 and 2, the maximum weight of the school bag should be 1.5 kg; 2-3 kg for classes 3-4; 4 kg for classes 6-7; 4.5 kg for classes 8-9; and 5 kg for class 10. In Maharashtra, the weight of a bag should not exceed 10% of a student’s weight.Updated: Nov 27, 2018 09:54 IST
The Union human resource development ministry has asked states and Union territories to ensure that the weight of school bags follow set norms and also that kids in classes 1 and 2 do not have homework.
Although the ministry did not prescribe these norms in a statement, it asked the states to quickly come up with those of their own, or follow the ones already put in place by Telangana or Maharashtra models.
According to the Telangana model, for students in classes 1 and 2 the maximum weight of the school bag should be 1.5 kg; 2-3 kg for classes 3 and 4; for those in classes 6 to 7, 4 kg; for those studying in classes 8 and 9, 4.5 kg; and for those in class 10, 5 kg.
Maharashtra’s policy is that the weight of a bag should not exceed 10% of a student’s weight.
Senior HRD ministry officials said the latest directions were issued following a direction of the Madras high court which directed the Centre to formulate a policy on school bags.
Following the court order, the ministry also formed a panel comprising experts from CBSE, NCERT, Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan and other bodies to formulate a draft policy in this regard, the officials said.
“While certain norms related to the weight of school bags and burden of homework on children already exist, the ministry has again written to the states in line with the high court order,” a senior HRD ministry official said on condition of anonymity.
“Schools should not prescribe any other subjects except Language and Mathematics for classes 1 and 2 and Language, EVS and Mathematics for classes 3 to 5 students as prescribed by the NCERT,” said the HRD ministry order.
Students should not be asked to bring additional books, extra materials and the weight of a school bag should not exceed the prescribed limit, it added.
Educationist Ameeta Mulla Wattal, Delhi’s Springdales School principal, said a situation where bags are done away with for young children would be even more welcome situation.
“For young schoolchildren, there should not be any bags. There can be lockers. Other items used can be left behind in the schools,” said Wattal.