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Welcome move by HRD ministry for students

Sunday - December 2, 2018 12:20 pm , Category : WTN SPECIAL

WTN- In a welcome move that can resolve the long standing problem of students and parents, the Union HRD ministry has instructed states to ask schools to reduce homework and schoolbag burden on students. In its circular, the ministry has asked states to ensure that schools did not give any homework to students of classes 1 and 2. Also it has prescribed that the subjects to be taught in schools should not be other than language and mathematics for the students of classes 1 and 2.

However, the most important among the instructions is the one that prescribes lesser schoolbag load on children. Though the ministry has not given any specific bag load criteria, it has advised to follow the Telangana model which has categorised bag load as per students’ age following a scientific study. According to it, students of classes 1 and 2 should not carry a bag weighing more than 1.5 kg, while the limit is 3 kg for students from class 3 to 5. For those in classes 6 and 7 cannot have their school bags weighing more than 4 kg, while the same has been demarcated as 4.5 kg for classes 8 and 9. For class 10, school bags should not exceed weight of 5 kgs. The states have been allowed make some minor adjustments to this general guidance.

To reduce the bag weight it has also been suggested that schools should resist from asking students to carry additional textbooks and notebooks which are not needed on a daily basis. There are often several extra study material carried by students which are sought but not used and schools can easily curtail those. A study has established that carrying heavy bags is adversely affecting the normal healthy posture of Indian students and deforming the shape of their shoulders. Many students have developed haunches and stoops due to prolonged carrying of heavy schoolbags, often for long distances and durations.

For years educationists have been crying hoarse to reduce the unnecessary burden on students but no concrete steps were taken in this regard so far by any government. Now it has to be seen how far the schools comply with the new order and if it is adhered to in letter and spirit. Indian students are some of the most burdened in the world by course load and heavy bags. Most of the things which are taught in any case are not suited or related to the needs of the practical world and this disjoint makes much of our course material redundant. Instead of making practically smart, our children are only bookish nerds.

Some rationalisation of our curriculum is essential and long due. This will automatically reduce the number of books and subsequently the burden of course and schoolbags. Education experts side by side must make school curriculum crisper, smarter and more in sync with the vocational and practical societal needs so that more is learnt with less. The government must keenly follow the developments to ensure that the instructions are adopted fast and schools abide by them in the right earnest.


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