Bans homework for Class 1 and 2 students; Every Third Saturday will be ‘No Bag Day’
Mysore: The State Government has stepped in to reduce homework for school students and restrict the weight of their school bags. The weight of the school bag has been in debate for years and experts have often opined that how heavy bags are inhuman for young students. The weight of the bags will finally be reduced from the coming academic year.
The Primary and Secondary Education Department has fixed the school bag weight for class from 1-10. According to the new rules, class 1-2 should have a bag weight of 1.5-2kgs, Class 3-5 should have 2-3kgs, Class 6-8 should have 3-4kgs and Class 9-10 should have 4-5kgs.
In a circular issued on May 3, the Department has stated that the weight of the school bag must not be more than 10 per cent of the student’s body weight. The Department has directed all the DDPIs to implement the same from next June.
The order will be applicable to all the State Government, Aided and Private Unaided schools starting from the academic year 2019-20. This has been confirmed to Star of Mysore by Mysuru DDPI Panduranga who said that necessary steps will be taken to implement the government order from June this year and the same will be communicated to all schools in Mysuru.
Also, giving relief to tiny tots who are in 1st and 2nd standard, the Government has ordered no homework for these kids. The Government has directed schools not to assign any homework for these children as per the directions by the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
In addition to this, the Department has recommended that all schools will have a ‘No School Bag Day’ every Third Saturday of a month.
The Government’s directive is based on a pilot study carried out during 2016-17 by a Committee comprising Centre for Child and Law and the National Law School of India University (NLSIU) in various schools across the State and subsequent opinion by orthopaedic experts. Though the report was submitted two years back, the Government has taken a decision now. The Committee was headed by Dr. V.P. Niranjanaradhya.
The Committee found that on an average, the weight of school bags for students of private unaided schools were 5.6 kgs and Government school students carried bags weighing the least at an average of 3.7 kilos per bag. The survey also found that the weight of the bag increased when students made the move from primary to high school. Overall, bag weights ranged between 1.8 kilos in class one of a government school to a maximum of 8.3 kilos per bag for Class 12 students.
The maximum number of notebooks on average carried by a child was the highest in Class 8 with students carrying an average of 10 notebooks. The least was carried by students in Class 1 with an average of 3 notebooks.
The survey also revealed that many students carried other material besides notebooks and textbooks like lunch boxes, water bottle, sports equipment, musical instruments, story books, extra books and pouches.
Recommendations by Education Department
- Weight of the bag should be lesser that 10% of the body weight of the child.
- Students should be allowed to keep bags or books and other study and assignment materials at schools. A dedicated place must be assigned at schools.
- ‘No Bag Day’ every Third Saturday of a month. A lot of extracurricular activities must be conducted.
- Local tours, newspaper reading activity, mathematics quiz, sports, Abacus, science experiments, pottery, cultural activities, pictorial activities and others will have to be conducted on ‘No Bag Day’.
- Provide pure drinking water at schools so that children need not bring water bottles from home.
- Parents must be educated on bad effects of carrying heavy bags to schools.
- Provide healthy and hygienic canteen facility at schools to avoid them carrying lunch box.
- Schools should prefer bags made of lighter material. Even trolley bags should be recommended.